Monday, March 25
Registration (07:30 – 17:00)

Welcome Coffee

Time: 07:30 – 08:15

Welcome and Keynote Presentation

Time : 08:15 – 09:00
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jim Vaught

Session 1: International Collaboration for Quality Results - Samples from Biobanks as Pacemaker for a Better Medicine

Time: 09:00 – 11:00

Ayat Salman
Dr. Reem Jawad Al Sulaiman

Dr. Mohammed Jarrar
Prof. Olli Carpen
Jens Habermann
Vasiliki Rahimzadeh

Coffee Break

Time: 11:00 – 11:20

Session 1: International Collaboration for Quality Results - Samples from Biobanks as Pacemaker for a Better Medicine (continued)

Time: 11:20 – 12:20

Ayat Salman
Dr. Reem Jawad Al Sulaiman

Dr. Samya Ahmad Al Abdulla
Dr. Tawfeg Ben Omran
Dr. Salha Bujassoum Al Bader

Networking Lunch

Time: 12:20 – 13:30

Session 2: Population-Based Biobanks: Learning from the Past & Targeting the Future

This session will focus on the role population based biobanks have contributed in understanding populations, genetic disorders as well as the effect of environmental changes on populations. It will highlight its accomplishments in the past and today as well as how to integrate knowledge translation methods in the future when discussing precision-care medicine.

Time: 13:30 – 15:00

Jens Habermann
Dr. Richard O’Kennedy


Marianne Henderson, M.S. CPC, USA
Gillian Bartlett
Ronny Baber
Dr. Asmaa Al Thani

Coffee Break

Time: 15:00 – 15:15

Poster Viewing Session & Flash Talks

Time: 15:15 – 16:00

Flash Talk Speakers:
Fatihah Tarmizi | Diabetes Risk Score: A Simple Screening Tool for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Qatar
Mohamed Ahmed | Relationship between Insulin Resistance and Lipid Profile in Adults with Normal Glucose Tolerance
Kholoud Alshafai | Identification of Cardiovascular Disease-Related Genetic Variants in the Qatari Population and Assessment of their Functional Implications
Judita Kinkorova | BRoTHER, Bilateral Project of Cross Border Collaboration
Fasihul Alam | Factors Affecting Antibiotic Use among Qatari Adult Population
using the Qatar Biobank (QBB) Database

Tatiana Vinardell | Establishment of an Equine Biobank in Qatar


Poster Presentations

Poster Evaluation

Time: 16:00 – 17:00

Social Activity | QBB Site Visit

Time: 17:00 – 20:00

Pre-registrations are mandatory and can be processed at the onsite registration desks when picking up your badge. Spaces are limited and offered on a first come, first served basis.

Tuesday, March 26
Registration (07:30 – 16:30)

Welcome Coffee

Time: 07:30 – 08:15

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Time: 08:15 – 08:30

Keynote Presentation

Time: 08:30 – 09:15
Keynote Speaker: Zhengming Chen, NDPH, University of Oxford

Coffee Break

Time: 09:15 – 09:45

Session 3: Donors Matter: Incidental Findings & Return of Genetic Data

More and more of today’s large population studies, especially those that include genomic research, are grappling with whether to return research results and if so, the extent, mechanisms and challenges to return research results to study participants. The biospecimens and data from these studies may also yield information that is new and potentially clinically relevant to a participant who may not be aware of an incidental genomic finding. This session will include specific instances of return of results to participants from studies and biobanks around the world. The speakers will also touch on the procedures and ethical standards required to return research or genetic results as well as incidental findings during their talks and panel discussion.

Time: 09:45 – 12:00

Zisis Kozlakidis
Dr. Eman Sadoun


Helena Judge Ellis, USA
Cristina Villena Portella
Karine Sargsyan, MD 
Dr. Nahla Afifi
Dr. Khalid Al Ansari

Networking Lunch

Time: 12:00 – 13:00

Session 4: A Reach for Quality: Pre-Analytics as Key for Reproducibility

Pre-analytical variability of bio specimens can have significant effects on downstream analyses. Controlling such variables is fundamental for the future use of bio specimens in diagnostic or prognostic purposes. This session will cover pre-analytics research.
Time: 13:00 – 15:00

Pasquale De Blasio
Dr. Mohamed Ben-Gashir

Kiran Govindan Kutty PGDip, MSc M.T, MIBMS
Kurt Zatloukal
Andrew Brooks
Dr. Abul Jalaluddin Bhuiyan

Coffee Break

Time: 15:00 – 15:15

Poster Presentations

Time: 15:15 – 17:00


Sofia Iacomussi | Enhancing Participant-Centred Initiatives in Biobanking

Omar Albagha | The Genetic Architecture of Health- and Disease-Related Traits in the Qatari Population

Noha Yousri | Genetics, Metabolomics and Epigenetics Linked to T2D Pathways in Qataris

Isabel Gil-aldea | Biobanks as a Useful Tool in The Process of Drug Development and Discovery of Biomarkers

Patrick De Boever | Retinal Vessel Network Complexity Changes in Relation to the Cardiometabolic Phenotype in Participants in the Qatar BioBank

Halima Bensmail | Harnessing Qatar Biobank to Understand Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity in Adult Qataris from the First Qatar Biobank Project

Puthen Veettil Jithesh | Exploring Pharmacogenomic Variants in the Qatari Population

Zumin Shi | Iron Indicators, Iron Supplement Use and Diabetes among Qatari Adults

Souhaila Al khodor | Risk for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases in the Qatari Population: Can the Salivary Microbiome Predict it?

Sureyah Nassimbwa | From Projects to Biobank: Development of MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit Biorepository in the last 10yrs (2008 -2018)

Constantinos Deltas | Familial Hematuric Nephropathies

Poster Presentations

Social Activity | Gala Dinner/ Reception (upon invitation only)

Time: 17:00 – 20:00
Wednesday, March 27
Registration (08:30 – 16:30)

Welcome Coffee

Time: 08:30 – 09:00

Session 5: Biobanks in Healthcare - From Basic Research to Clinical Use

Historically, even if bio specimens were operating on a smaller scale and at a local level, academic biobank have played major roles in the understanding and treatment of diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and heart disease. Nonetheless, the process has increased the demand for high quality specimens that are reliable, accurate and highly annotated. In the era of precision care medicine, how are academic biobanks contributing to translational sciences? What are the different processes established in these biobanks to move from science to clinical application? Academia Disease Biobanks are strictly related to Healthcare practice and are a pillar for Personalized Medicine treatments. Recent technological developments (NGS) allow identification of genomic and transcriptomic alterations which are fundamental in Personalized treatments. This session will discuss the importance of disease biobanks to improve Healthcare practice.

Time: 08:30 – 10:20

Omar Albagha
Kurt Zatloukal

Christoph Brochhausen
Pasquale De Blasio
Said Ismail
Dr. Khalid Fakhro
Stephen Atkins
Stephen Hewitt

Coffee Break

Time: 10:20 – 10:50

Session 6: A reach for Quality: Best Practices and Standards!

To increase the proportion of scientific research being conducted in a replicable and harmonized manner, efforts have been launched around the world to create standards and best practices. In 2018, ISBER released its 4th edition of the Best Practices for Repositories and continues to release the BPs in multiple languages to serve biobankers around the world. Also in 2018, the International Standards Organization (ISO) released a standard for biobanking (ISO 20387:2018), the result of several years of discussion of biobankers from all over the world. This session will describe the scope, need and implementation of best practices and standards in biobanking. A discussion of the opportunities and challenges of implementing BPs and standards will be included.

Time:10:50 – 13:10

Networking Lunch & Poster Session

Time: 13:10 – 14:10

Poster Presentations

Session 7: Opportunities and Challenges of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in Medical Research

Time: 14:10 – 16:00

Michaela Mayrhofer
Yosef Saleh

Gianlugi Zanetti
Martin Stumpe
David Brown
Radja Messai-Badji
Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid
Dr. Jithesh Puthen

Awards and Closing Remarks

Time: 16:00 – 16:30

Abstract submission

The call for abstracts is now closed. We thank all the submitters for their contribution.

Quality Matters

pre-analytics for samples, biobank management, best practices and standards

Information Technology

IT tools, data sharing, big data, AI and data mining

Repository Management

workforce development, sustainability, biobank profiles, commercial biobanking

Ethical and Regulatory Issues

data sharing, patient engagement and empowerment, returning research results/ incidental findings, international collaboration

Biobanking in Healthcare

integrated biobanking, clinical trials, precision medicine

Collaboration and Partnerships

international collaborations, academic-industry partnerships, scientific-patient advocacy partnerships, regional biobank networks

Educational Tools

Hot Topics in Biobanking

innovative techniques and methods, emerging technologies




Feel free to reach out to us and request more information!

Contact us:

+32 (0)2 320 25 34

Contact Form