About BCNet

News and Events

This page gathers latest news and events related to the BCNet project and website.
Contact (feedback/assistance): bcnet@iarc.fr


  • IARC New Biobank Learning platform: 5 March 2019.

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has launched the Biobank Learning platform, a freely accessible resource that provides learning and training material for professionals involved in biobank-based research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

    The Biobank Learning platform includes more than 80 learning resources tailored to help specialists contribute to efficient and impactful analysis. Topics covered include biobanking infrastructure, collection and management of samples and data, and bioinformatics.

    The only resource of its kind, the Biobank Learning platform was developed by the Education and Training Group and the Laboratory Services and Biobank Group at IARC as part of the Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa (B3Africa) project. It will be maintained and developed by IARC through the LMICs Biobank and Cohort Building Network (BCNet) initiative.

  • Biobanking with MASRI in BGICC 2019: 18-19 January 2019.

    BGICC 2019 stands for the 11th Breast-Gynecological and Immunooncology International Cancer Conference, held in Cairo, Egypt, 17-18 Janvuary 2019. It is the largest and most prestigious cancer conference in Africa and the Middle East.

    In the frame of the conference, the Faculty of Medicine AinShams Research Institute (MASRI), BCNet member with its biobank registered in the BCNet catalogue, is organizing a Research Course with three sessions focused on biobanking and biobanks for research. The program lasts from 17 to 18 January 2019 and is co-moderated by Dr Amany Maher, BCNet member representative.

    Several presentations are given by BCNet partners' and members' representatives as follows:

    • Session 1: Biobank Best Practices. 18 January 2019.
      • Dr Élodie Caboux, IARC/WHO: Quality Management in Biobanking.
      • Dr Rania Labib, Egypt: Sample Accessibility Make Easy.
      • Dr Sameera Ezzat, Egypt: Best Practices in IT Requirements for state of the art of Biobanks.

    • Session 2: Biobank Research. 18 January 2019.
      • Dr Élodie Caboux, IARC/WHO: The Importance of Biobanking in Cancer Research.

    • Session 3: IT Tools and Networking. 18 January 2019.
      • Dr Maher Sughayer, Jordan: The Need for an Arab Society of Biobanking.
      • Dr Ahmed Samir, Egypt: Towards a National Biobank Community: Together we can survive.

    MASRI also leads a BGICC 2019 post-conference workshop. It is entitled Toward Egyptian Networking and is held on 19 January 2019.

    Main presentations are provided by BCNet community representatives as follows:

    • Dr Ahmed Samir, Egypt: Biobank Networking for dissemination of data and resources.
    • Dr Élodie Caboux, IARC/WHO: Biobank Networking: The European Network initiatives — BCNet as a model.
    • Dr Maher Sughayer, Jordan: The Need for an Arabic Network.
    • Dr Rania Labib, Egypt: Open discussion steps in forming Egyptian Network.

    MASRI Board Meeting is also scheduled on 19 January 2019. BCNet community takes part with two representatives:

    • Dr Amany Maher, Egypt, presenting the "Establishment of Cancer Biobank and Biobank Networking";
    • Dr Élodie Caboux, IARC/WHO as international guest.

  • GET Africa Newsletter Volume 1 September 2018: 26 September 2018.

    The Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET) released its Newsletter Volume 1 September 2018.

    Editor-in-Chief: Pr. Akin Abayomi.
    Link: https://www.getafrica.org/newsletter/
    or browse the NewsLetter section on the GET Africa website.
    Format: PDF, 35 pages, 10.1 MB.
  • !Register now! "MSc Biobanking" in Graz:
    news from the Medical University of Graz, posted on 5 June 2018.

    This year our first international graduates will complete the distance learning Master course "MSc Biobanking" at the Medical University of Graz — Biobank Graz. At the same time the next Master course is starting. Therefore registration for the distance learning Master course "MSc Biobanking" in English starting in October 2018 is open now.

    Please notice that modules can be booked individually as well without attending the whole Master course and finalized with a document stating attendance of the course. However, this will not lead to receiving a Master's degree.

    Detailed information on the university course can be found on our homepage: www.medunigraz.at/mscbiobanking
  • Release of report and videos from BCNet Symposium: 29 May 2018.

    The BCNet symposium "From Biobank Infrastructure to Research: How BCNet Member Biobanks and Cohorts Are Contributing to Address Public Health Concerns" was held from 27 November to 1 December 2017 in Lyon, France, in collaboration with the second B3Africa face-to-face training.

    The event gathered overall 58 participants (67% women, 33% men). 30 organisations/projects were represented, mainly from Europe (38%) and Africa (55%).

    More details, including report and videos: click here
  • Publication in Biopreservation and Biobanking: 18 April 2018.

    Congratulations to BCNet authors for the publication of an Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) oriented manuscript in Biopreservation and Biobanking and its release on line!
    Authors: Zawati Ma'n H., Tassé Anne Marie, Mendy Maimuna, Caboux Elodie, and Lang Michael, on Behalf of Biobank and Cohort Building Network Members.
    Title: Barriers and Opportunities in Consent and Access Procedures in Low- and Middle-Income Country Biobanks: Meeting Notes from the BCNet Training and General Assembly.
    Journal: Biopreservation and Biobanking.
    Weblink: http://doi.org/10.1089/bio.2017.0081
  • ISBER 2018 awards for BCNet contributors: 21 March 2018.

    Congratulations to the winners of ISBER 2018 awards!
    At least three of them are great contributors of BCNet:
    Links to additional details on ISBER Awardees:
  • Visit and Seminar of AESA Director Dr Kariuki at IARC: 12 February 2018.

    On 12 February 2018, IARC hosted the visit of Dr Thomas Maina Kariuki, Director of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).

    AESA is one of the flagship programmes of the African Academy of Sciences, a pan African organisation headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science technology and innovation. AESA's mission is to catalyse investments, strategies and programmes that promote the brightest minds in Africa, foster scientific excellence, inspire research leadership and accelerate innovation in ways that will improve lives and shift the centre of gravity for African science to Africa. Initiated by the AAS and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Agency, AESA is an agenda setting and funding platform established to address Africa's health and development challenges.

    Dr Kariuki gave an inspiring seminar to IARC staff on "The Future of Science in Africa", which may be consulted here:

    Discussions also took place with BCNet Coordinator, Dr Maimuna Mendy, about opportunities for leveraging biobank-based research in Africa.

Newsletters and Updates

On-going Events

  • ISBER Best Practices, Fourth Edition.

    ISBER is pleased to announce the release of the ISBER Best Practices 4th Edition!

    The ISBER Best Practices can be downloaded here: www.isber.org/bestpractices.

    The ISBER Best Practices: Recommendations for Repositories Fourth Edition presents the most effective practices for the management of biological and environmental specimen collections and repositories.

    Biorepository managers, technicians and researchers can take advantage of the ISBER Best Practices to improve specimen collection, storage, use and governance based on evidence-based practices established by the global repository community. The Best Practices will lead towards increased specimen quality from collection to discovery.
  • Common Minimum Technical Standards and Protocols for Biobanks Dedicated to Cancer Research.
    IARC Technical Publication No. 44.

    Available as print book as well as PDF file (freely downloadable).
    More info: click here.
  • Introduction to Biobanking online course.
    Provision: ISBER and CTRNet through partnership.

    Special access for BCNet members: see below and/or contact bcnet@iarc.fr for details.
    Pre-requisites: click to show the 2 items.
    1. You should have created a free ISBER non-member account on the ISBER website.
      If it is not the case, then you may do so by following this link: ISBER non member account creation.
    2. You should have signed in with your free ISBER account before proceeding the purchase.
    Purchase steps: click to show the 10 items.
    1. Go to the course purchase main page.
      (You may also go there from the ISBER home page by browsing the menu «Learning», «Education» then «Introduction to Biobanking Course».)
    2. Follow the link «Click here to purchase the Introduction to Biobanking Course» at the bottom of the page. (Screenshot.)
    3. Select the item «Introduction to Biobanking Course IARC BCNet Members» by clicking it once (price $0.00). (Screenshot.)
    4. Write your first and last names in the box as requested. (Screenshot.)
      Click «Add item».
    5. View the cart. (Only) One item should be reported. (Screenshot.)
      Click «Checkout».
    6. Fill in the form. Be careful to supply an active e-mail as the purchase confirmation and the access key will be delivered by e-mail. (Screenshot.)
      Click «Proceed to confirmation».
    7. Check the supplied info. (Screenshot.)
      Click «Complete order» if all is right. Otherwise go back to the previous page/step.
    8. A page should mention that an e-mail confirmation is about to be delivered. (Screenshot.)
      (Optional) You may view your invoice/receipt by clicking «View invoice/receipt» then save the page (e.g. as a PDF file, a web page, or a screenshot). (Screenshot.)
    9. Check your e-mail box: You should shortly receive the confirmation of purchase (end and success).
    10. After a checking by ISBER (1-2 business days), you should receive another e-mail with the Education Access Key. This key will allow you to start the course online.
    Feedback/assistance: bcnet@iarc.fr

Past Events

  • ISBER 2018 Annual Meeting: 20-24 May 2018.
    Location: Dallas, Texas, USA.

  • 2018 NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention: Call for Applications

    Application deadline: 1 February 2018.

    The National Cancer Institute (NCI) hosts the NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention every year in Rockville, Maryland. The Curriculum provides training in cancer control, prevention, and research for domestic and international scientists and health care professionals.

    The Principles and Practice of Cancer Control Course, to be held July 9 — August 3, 2018, focuses on concepts, methods, issues, and applications related to cancer prevention and control.

    The Molecular Prevention Course, to be held August 6-10, 2018, provides a strong background in the molecular biology and genetics of cancer and an overview of basic laboratory approaches applied to cutting-edge research in the fields of molecular epidemiology, chemoprevention, biomarkers, and translational research.

    A limited amount of financial support may be available for selected meritorious applications from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

    More information, including how to apply: https://www.cancer.gov
  • Two new NIH Funding Opportunities: H3Africa Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues (ELSI) research.

    Application Due date: 6 December 2017.

    More information about required registrations and how to apply for NIH funding: http://h3africa.org.

    Key Dates:
    • Letter of Intent Due Dates:
      • U54: October 16, 2017
      • U01: November 6, 2017
      • Please note that Letters of Intent are encouraged but not required or used in review.
    • Application Due Date: December 6, 2017, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
    • Earliest Start Date of Award: July 2018

    Additional questions:
  • Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa — B3Africa: Second In-Person Training.
    28 November-1 December 2017, IARC, Lyon, France.

    The objectives of this second B3Africa in-person training are threefold:
    • To train future users of the B3Africa platform (the eB3Kit);
    • To contribute to the eB3kit implementation as a proof of concept;
    • To stimulate the participation of researchers in the training and education system provided beyond the lifetime of this project.
    The training will target two categories of users:
    • Biobank professionals and researchers (end-users) from the B3Africa Use Case work package and BCNet members selected to present at the BCNet symposium;
    • IT professionals (in charge of eB3Kit installation/maintenance).

    More info: http://www.b3africa.org.

  • BCNet Symposium: From Biobank Infrastructure to Research.
    How BCNet member biobanks address public health concerns.

    27-28 November 2017, IARC, Lyon, France.

    The purpose of the symposium is to showcase the efforts of members in developing biobank-based collaborative research projects to address public health issues.

  • How to build a biobank — Learning by doing: 22-24 November 2017.
    Organizer and Host: Medical University of Graz, Austria.

    Interactive 3-day-course, mixing presentations and discussion session.
    Official course announcement: click to open / download (PDF, 1 page, 149 kB)
    Deadline: 29 September 2017.
  • Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa — B3Africa: showcase at AORTIC 2017 Conference, 7-10 November 2017.
    Venue: Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda.

    B3Africa web site: http://www.b3africa.org
    B3Africa Twitter: #B3Africa
    AORTIC Conference web site: http://aorticconference.org/
    AORTIC Conference Twitter: #AORTIC2017 @AORTIC_AFRICA
  • Global Biobank Week 2017: 13-15 September 2017.
    Location: Stockholm, Sweden.
    Official website: http://globalbiobankweek.org/
    Meeting programme: http://globalbiobankweek.org/meeting-programme/
    Follow on Twitter: #GBWstockholm
    Early bird registration deadline: extended to 30 July 2017.
  • BCNet Pathology Training and Open Forum: 22-24 May 2017.
    Host: Children's Cancer Hospital, Cairo, Egypt.
    The training will be for pathologists/histotechnicians in BCNet member institutions who already have pathology capacity.
    Programme: click to open / download (PDF, 4 pages, 197 kB)
    Contact: bcnet@iarc.fr
  • Upcoming H3Africa Funding Opportunities: July-November 2016.
    NIH has recently released seven (7) Notices of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcements for the second stage of H3Africa. For each of the seven (7) upcoming funding opportunities, the following dates are estimated for the announcement, the receipt of applications, the issuance of awards, and the start of grants.
    • Estimated Publication Date of Announcements: July 2016
    • First Estimated Application Due Date: November 2016
    • Earliest Estimated Award Date: July 1, 2017
    • Earliest Estimated Start Date: July 1, 2017
    More information about required registrations and how to apply for NIH funding can be found here: http://h3africa.org/links/funding/26-current-funding-opportunities/275-nih-fundingkw-guidance-2
    Details and links to the Notices: click to show the 7 items.
    1. NOT-RM-16-014 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues (ELSI) Research Program (U01).
    2. NOT-RM-16-015 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues (ELSI) Collaborative Centers (U54).
    3. NOT-RM-16-016 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): Research Grants (U01).
    4. NOT-RM-16-017 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): Collaborative Centers (U54).
    5. NOT-RM-16-018 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): Administrative Coordinating Center (U24).
    6. NOT-RM-16-019 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): Informatics Network (U24).
    7. NOT-RM-16-020 Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): Global Health Bioinformatics Research Training Program (U2R).
    For any additional questions, please see the H3Africa website (www.h3africa.org) or reach out to the contact listed in each Notice under the heading ‘Inquiries’. General inquiries about H3Africa can be sent to Jennifer Troyer (troyerj@mail.nih.gov).
  • How to Build a Biobank — Learning by Doing: 2nd course for 23-25 November 2016.
    Location: Medical University of Graz, Austria.
    Organizer: Biobank Graz, http://www.medunigraz.at/biobank
  • BBMRI-ERIC e-Newsflash no 25: 25 August 2016.
    Official link: http://eepurl.com/ccJXWL
  • Essentials of Quality Management in Laboratories & College of American Pathologists Implementation Workshop: 07-11 May 2016.
    Location: Land Mark Hotel, Amman, Jordan.
    Organizer: King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC).
    Flyer: view/download (PDF, 1 page).
  • 3rd Advances in Critical Care Conference & 1st Trans Middle East Conference: 23-24 April 2016.
    Location: King Hussein Cancer Center.
    Organizer: King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC), the Saudi Critical Care Society, the Middle East Critical Care Assembly, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, under the Patronage of HRH Princess Ghida Talal.
    Program: view/download (PDF, 2 pages).
    Details: follow this link.
  • BCNet web meeting on catalogue: 8 February 2016.
    Topic: starting pilot stage with BCNet members.
    Details on the overall project: follow this link.
  • Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa — B3Africa: 1st meeting at Cape Town, South Africa, August 2015.
    Video report: click to view on line (YouTube channel).
    Look further: go to the website.
  • IARC "50 FOR 50": empowering future cancer research leaders.
    More information: follow this link.
    Deadline: 11 January 2016.
  • BCNet Training extranet: SharePoint community platform.
    → Update of 25/09/2017: Hosting site under maintenance.
    Feedback/assistance: bcnet@iarc.fr
  • BCNet General Assembly: 5 November 2015, IARC, Lyon, France.
    Agenda: click to view/download (PDF, 1 page, 47 kB).
    Group photo: original size (3.6 MB) | lighter size (274 kB).
  • BCNet Training session: 3-5 November 2015, IARC, Lyon, France.
    Agenda: click to view/download (PDF, 2 pages, 57 kB).
    Group photo: original size (3.9 MB) | lighter size (300 kB).
  • BCNet Training posters on ELSI, QA and IT.
    → Update of 16/11/2017: Hosting site under maintenance.
    Feedback/assistance: bcnet@iarc.fr