Rita Lawlor is a founder and project manager for the ARC-NET (www.arc-net.it) cancer research centre in Verona, Italy. She is head of its Research Biobank involved in European Community funded researches for novel molecular diagnostic markers (www.moldiagpaca.eu), therapeutic targets (www.epcnet.eu), and epidemiological studies in cancer (pangen-eu).
Rita project manages the Italian effort within the International Cancer Genome Consortium (www.icgc.org) and the Italian collaboration with Australia and Canada for pancreas cancer.
Rita is member of the working group to define the standards for Research Biobanks of the Veneto Regional Government of Italy. She has more than 20 years international experience. In Japan for 6 years, she developed the first trading systems for top trading Japanese companies. She matured skills in risk analysis, over 10 years developing disaster recovery solutions for financial institutions in Japan and Europe.
She acquired experience in on-line education while project managing creation of: a data mining knowledge management platform; and a helicopter technical on-line training course for the Italian police. Her experience took her from financial banking to biological sample banking. She has worked for seven years in cancer research and bio-banking and in dataset definition for Italian National pancreas group and the International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Degree in Computer Science (1986) and Master Degree (1992), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Diploma and Certified in Project Management with Project Management Institute (PMI). Certificate in Principles of biobanking from the University of Luxemburg. Member of PMI, Italian Societies of Pathology (SIAPEC) and Pancreatology (AISP). Rita is the President elect and Committee member of ESBB and ISBER.
A functional Biorepository require both physical and electronic organization, and I facilitate that as the Laboratory Manager for the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC). I am responsible for all laboratory aspects of the completed Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study (HSV-2 Suppression as a Potential Tool to Prevent HIV Transmission and Delay HIV Disease Progression) and Partners PrEP Study (Antiretroviral Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention in Heterosexual Men and Women), both funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
I have a background in database development and curation from ethological and physiological studies of arctic wolves and from two decades of transgenic research with Bristol-Myers Squibb and ZymoGenetics. In previous capacities I have managed repositories of canine skulls, supply rooms, and transgenic mouse colonies.
Currently I manage all ICRC lab activities which is focused around clinical specimen collection, processing, shipping, receiving, retention and retrieval. Our central database (FreezerWorks) accepts data from local clinic databases, and we maintain demographic, clinical and location information for the 2.5 million specimen Repository. The Central ICRC Repository receives specimens from several countries in Africa and the Americas. Specimens are shipped as ambient, refrigerated, dry ice, and dry shipper (LN2) shipments, all following regional and international regulations (e.g., IATA). Upon arrival they area reconciled into our central database.
I am highly suited to provide training in Repository receipt, retaining, and retrieval, providing guidance in specimen management and database development and curation.
The Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL) is a biorepository, biorefinery and technology center that serves Luxembourg and its partners to collect, store and redistribute biospecimens and their related clinical data and produce analytes suitable for analyses by state-of-the-art genomics and proteomics platforms.
IBBL also provides research platforms and engages in collaborative research with partners in academia and industry. The major focus for IBBL's in-house research is Biospecimen Research.
Fay Betsou was previously Head Laboratory Manager at Biobanque de Picardie where she supervised the work which led the Biobank to ISO9001:2008 and NF96-900 certification for the activities of collecting, processing, storing and distributing biospecimens. Under Fay Betsou's leadership, the Biobanque de Picardie was the first biobank to be certified for the activities of "sample processing method validation and quality control". Fay Betsou has also developed a University Certificate on "Principles of Biobanking". As Chief of Biospecimen Science she is responsible for directing biospecimen research at IBBL and also runs the Biorefinery laboratory.
The research background of Fay Betsou is in the molecular microbiology area (molecular diagnostics, immunophysiopathology and vaccines). However, since 2003, she has developed expertise in biospecimen science, especially in the biofluids area. She is also expert in all aspects concerning analytical method validation according to ISO17025:2005 requirements and Quality Management Systems in general. She has developed and implemented an international Proficiency Testing program for biorepositories, which is endorsed by ISBER.
As ISBER President, she is actively working for the Society's global development and in this respect is eager to support African biobanks so that they can comply to international Best Practices and achieve the highest Biobanking standards of quality.
I have been the Director of the GWU site of the AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource (EC ACSR) since its inception in 1994. I have also been a member of the NCI-funded AIDS Malignancy Clinical Trials Consortium (AMC) Laboratory Working Group for the same length of time and in 2010 assumed the Directorship of the AIDS Malignancy Clinical Trials Consortium (AMC) Biorepository which encompasses specimens from 36 national and international sites.
In 2013, I began overseeing the development of the AMC/ACSR Sub-Saharan Biorepository located at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town at the request of the NCI. I have been a Co-investigator of the NIH-funded Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) since its inception and a member of its Cancer/Pathology Working Group. The more than 20 years of directing the administrative and quality management areas of the GWU ACSR and now the AMC Biorepository have given me extensive experience in the organization and management of biorepositories and consortia, as well as leadership experience in national committees related to biospecimen management and resources to be fully qualified for this application.