Recent Events & Activities

IBRH3AU Staff Certification Training in Principles of Biobanking.
June 2015

In June 2015 Two (2) IBRH3AU top management staff (Dr.Samuel Kyobe, Biorepository Coordinator and Mr.Henry Musinguzi, Biorepository Manager) trained at the University of Luxembourg in Principles of Biorepository management and science and now equipped with skills and knowledge essential to manage a resource of this nature.

See Training Report and for more details about the course

H3Africa commercial biospecimen shipment pilot study.
Oct-Dec 2014

IBRH3AU with other H3Africa biorepositories undertook a commercial biospecimen shipment pilot study. The aims of this pilot study were to evaluate sample processing protocols and shipping procedures across Africa. The IBRH3AU received biospecimens from the IHVN and Cape Town biorepositories and IBRH3AU shipped commercial DNA to Nigeria. The second phase will be to test these procedures and protocols across Africa with real biospecimen.

Commercial DNA was purchased from Promega, aliquots of various DNA concentrations were prepared, packaged and shipped at 3 temperature conditions i.e dry ice, refrigerated and controlled ambient. World Courier was used for shipping and temperature monitoring systems were included in all shipments. Quality indicators (e.g. turnaround time, DNA/whole blood quality and quantity analysis before and after shipping and results obtained compared for any effects, border points crossing requirements, temperatures during transit and appropriateness of packaging materials) were assessed and lessons learnt from these outcomes.

On the Overall the quality of biospecimen (Commercial DNA and whole blood) was not affected despite out of range temperatures for ambient and refrigerated shipments from both the IHV-Nigeria and Stellenbosch University repositories for up to a period of seven days in transit . Dry Ice shipments were very successful through World Courier and only one incident with DHL where the packaging material was damaged. Points to note are; requirements at border points to import/export biospecimen to avoid delays and appropriate packaging.

ESBB meeting Oct 2014
Oct 2014

Membership to international Biorepository bodies is key to keep obtaining and maintaining international standards. These meetings are also key for dissemination of current progress in Biorepository management and science.

In October 2014, Two Biorepository Staff members Dr. Samuel Kyobe(Coordinator) and Newton Lwanga(IT Personnel) attended the 4th ESBB annual meeting in Leipzig, Germany. The IBRH3AU showcased its development of the Mobile SPREC App at this meeting. The development received a lot of attention and feedback especially about its need in improving global biobanking and harmonization of collections.

Several technologies were on showcase; the IBRH3AU was very interested in temperature monitoring systems. We have evaluated a wireless web-based temperature monitoring system by Tetula Monitoring Systems. This system has the potential to reduce the current clatter that is associated with various wiring systems.

Mr.Harald Haugen from ICRC, University of Washington visit to IBRH3AU
Jan 2014

Topics Discussed
  • Progress towards phase II grant application
  • Selection of appropriate storage temperatures for plasma, serum and DNA samples.
  • Effects of temperature fluctuations on stored biospecimen.
  • QA/QC of stored plasma and serum samples.
  • Sample and Equipment back up.
  • Staff Training needs
  • Procedures for Biospecimen tracking during exchange amongst the consortium
  • Overview on LIMS (Security, Web based, Customizability, Interoperability, Usability)
  • Label Printing and Barcoding systems and software

IBRH3AU PI receives yet another NIH Grant award
May 2014

Prof. Moses Joloba the IBRH3AU Principal Investigator in collaboration with Prof. Jerrold Ellner of Boston Medical Center (BUSM) through NIH have won a five year grant support from Fogarty's Global Infectious Disease Research Training (GID) program to enhance infectious disease research training.

The grant offers translational research training on immunology, inflammation, pathogenesis, bioinformatics on tuberculosis, emerging viral pathogens and antimicrobial resistance, and provides opportunities to train researchers and clinicians to address them in different ways.

For more details

PI visit to international biorepositories in the USA
Jan 2014

The IBRH3AU PI and Coordinator undertook a 10 day visit of two international biorepositories in the USA. The East Coast AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource (EA-ACSR) Biorepository in George Washington University and International Clinical Research Center (ICRC) Biorepository at University of Washington under the headship of Prof. Sylvia and Mr. Haugen.

During this visit several aspects of biorepository operations were explained and seen in action. At the EA-ACSR the two were shown the real time implementation of SPREC coding, this has now led to the development of materials for SPREC coding to be adopted by the H3Africa Consortium. They also participated in primary cell culture and demonstration of cell line creation in the Department of Biochemistry, GWU.

The two also held in-depth discussion on the following topics National Cancer Institute best practices; governance; staffing (qualifications, training, and safety); custodianship and ethics; facilities resources and management; equipment selection and management; specimen receipt, processing, validation, maintenance, and distribution; standard operating procedures; database; material transfer agreements; and regulatory issues.

At the ICRC they learnt a lot on the management and set up of a freezer firm, from issues to do with electrical set up to environmental temperature management and how it affects the biospecimens and equipment functionality, Mr. Scott a certified freezer technician, who also agreed to join the team of Engineers designing the storage spaces, explained the care of freezers. Several materials were offered to the visiting team for reference and future use.

Review of IBRH3AU & H3Africa policies & SOPs.
Dec 2013 - Dec 2014

The IBRH3AU Executive Committee since the award has been engaged in drafting IBRH3AU policy documents,QMS, MTA and Ethics Legal and Social Implications manual. The Team has also been working together with the other H3Africa member Biobanks in the harmonisation of the H3Africa SOPs and other related documents.

IBRH3AU Facility Assessment by Mrs.Rita Lawlor Former President (ESBB).
Dec 2013

Ms. Rita Lawlor former President (ESBB) visited the biorepository between 9th-13th December 2013 and conducted a four day onsite training in biorepository management and science. The training involved interactive presentations, hands on demonstrations, review of SOPs and introduction to ISBER best practices. All members of the Executive Committee were in attendance. The training materials were handed over to the Scientific Director for future use and reference. She also evaluated the site and progress made since project start.