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Welcome to the Science Summit at UNGA76, a major contribution to advancing Science for the UN SDGs. Online from 14- September - 5 October 2021.
ISC will organise the second edition of the UNGA76 Science Summit around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (SSUNGA76) in September 2021. The objective of the virtual meeting will be to raise awareness of the role and contribution of science to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It will demonstrate initiatives that provide models for global science mechanisms and activities in support of the SDGs, particularly in science infrastructure and capacity building. Science is and will enable sustainable economic, environmental, and societal development. Science is more than a funding prioritisation exercise: science is impacting all areas of policy-making and is playing a more critical role in how policy objectives are achieved and the consequent benefit to people everywhere, including responses to global challenges.
Engagement with policy leadership is more important than ever: UNGA76 is a unique forum for science to demonstrate how policy and political leadership can benefit from innovation. Central to this is the role of nonstate actors and the multilateral fora, which increasingly determine how priorities are set. Science needs to be part of this dialogue and inform outputs through thought leadership, evidence, insights, analysis, and innovation.

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Wednesday, September 22 • 5:00pm - 6:00pm
(REF BB22) Biobanking to support the SDGs. Convened by the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI)

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Prof. Kurt Zatloukal, M.D., Medical University Graz, Austria
Dr. Zisis Kozlakidis, PhD MBA FLS, IACR / WHO
Prof. Jens K. Habermann, M.D., Ph.D., BBMRI-ERIC
Prof. Dr. Marialuisa Lavitrano, University Milano Bicocca, Italy
Prof. Fredrick Chite Asirwa, M.D., International Cancer Institute, Kenya

Abstract Prof. Zatloukal:
Title: Global health challenges and biobanking
Societal changes go hand in hand with new health challenges such as ageing population resulting in an increase in certain diseases and increased health care expenditure, which places pressure on the sustainability of healthcare systems. Furthermore, new threats to health have emerged, such as pandemics and problems related to climate change. These challenges can only be efficiently addressed if research is translated to innovative solutions for improved prevention and treatment of diseases. Such solutions have to be based on solid scientific facts requiring international and interdisciplinary collaboration.  A key resource for such research are biobanks that provide access to human biological samples that are linked with detailed information on diseases and lifestyle. These resources together with latest analytical and data management technologies are essential for generating new knowledge on diseases as a prerequisite for innovation in the health industry and improved health outcomes.

Abstract Dr. Kozlakidis: 
Title: Biobanking in the digital health age
Digital health solutions and health information technology are systematically transforming the way health care is delivered in the 21st century. At the same time biological samples are collected from patients and the general population from biobanks for use in research. Biobank commonly refers to a large, organised collection of well-characterised tissue samples such as surgical biopsies (fresh frozen or in paraffin sections), blood and serum samples, different cell types and DNA – all carefully collected for research purposes. The implication of biobanking is that the tissue samples will be collected with associated biological and medical data (such as biochemical test data and imaging data). Therefore, the ascent of biobanking into the digital health age is inevitable. The presentation will focus on the development of biobanking in relation to digital health, providing examples from a range of geographical areas, including from resource-restricted settings, and how such research infrastructures can support the SDG, in particular SDG 3.

Abstract Prof. Habermann:
Authors:              Michaela Th. Mayrhofer, Andrea Wutte, Petr Holub, Lukasz Kozera, Luc Deltombe, Jens K. Habermann
Title:                     BBMRI-ERIC Biobanks & Biomolecular Resources supporting SDG 3
Keywords:          Biobanking, Precision Medicine, Quality, ELSI, Samples, Data, Networks, Cancer, COVID, Rare diseases, Paediatrics,
BBMRI-ERIC stands for “Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium” (www.bbmri-eric.eu). Currently, 21 European countries and the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer constitute with its National Nodes and affiliated biobanks BBMRI-ERIC as a research infrastructure, providing services and connecting biobanks across Europe. BBMRI-ERIC’s mission is to facilitate access to sample and data as well as to biomedical resources. This is facilitated through services and advancements in the areas of Ethical, Legal and Societal Issues (ELSI), Quality Management (QM), Information Technology (IT), Research & Development (R&D), Education & Training (E&T), Public Affairs (PA), and Marketing & Communications (M&C).
This presentation will highlight how BBMRI-ERIC supports SDG 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages by enabling (i) access to over 600 biobanks in our biobank Directory hosting more than 2,500 collections with estimated >100,000,000 samples and associated data, (ii) how this is facilitated by current and prospect IT solutions, (iii) how quality measures are implemented and further developed, (iv) how our ELSI experts across Europe support research and guide on matters ranging from data protection to incidental findings, and (v) how we position our community’s services and research together with our stakeholders and partners in the overall EU research landscape in order to advance and implement precision medicine while fostering efficient yet competitive, cutting-edge and value generating research within Europe and across the globe.
Abstract Prof. Lavitrano:
Title: Open Data and Open Science for the SDGs, the role of Biobanking
The United Nations has created 17 interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that “recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth—all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.” Achieving the SDGs will need a paradigm shift in the way we are doing and managing science today.
Open Data and Open Science could be a game changer for achieving the United Nations SDGs, particularly in the health context as demonstrated by the COVID-19 emergency.
The presentation will focus on the contribution of biobanking in the development of Open Science providing access to human biological samples and the associated clinical and lifestyle data according to FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) principles in the frame of the European Open Science Cloud Association environment.
Abstract Prof. Fredrick Chite Asirwa
Title: Biobanking in Africa: The time is now
Across the globe, to tackle the huge cancer burden, it has become increasingly urgent to translate bench-to-bedside. There is no geographical region that needs this more than sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where a lot remains unknown in the, causation of cancers, efficacy, targets and outcomes of therapeutic interventions amongst different populations with diverse genetics. 
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that globally, 1 in 5 people develop cancer during their lifetime, and 1 in 8 men and 1 in 11 women die from the disease. These new estimates suggest that more than 50 million people are living within five years of a past cancer diagnosis. In addition, Cancer death rates in Africa have been projected to exceed the global average by 30% in the next 20 years. Therefore, there is an ever-increasing role for ramping up research especially in SSA through adoption of tools including clinical tissue biorepositories that can potentially be used for functional studies and personalized oncology care.
Inequities in cancer care access makes for a compelling reason for increased investments into biobanking, linkage to digital pathology, clinical tissue repository, electronic medical records with functional tumor registries.
I present the case of the International Cancer Institute’s progress towards incorporating the Digital Clinical Data with our digital Pathology platform towards the development of our biobanking unit and Next generation sequencing (NGS) at our ICI Laboratory in Kenya, in support of SDG 3.

avatar for Fredrick Chite Asirwa M.D.

Fredrick Chite Asirwa M.D.

Medical Oncologist & Hematologist, International Cancer Institute, Kenya
Chite Asirwa, MD is the CEO of International Cancer Institute, an organisation whose main purpose is to expand education, clinical care and training opportunities in cancer control and research across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) through multi-sectoral collaborations and partnerships... Read More →

Marialuisa Lavitrano

University Milano Bicocca, Italy
Professor Lavitrano is a professor of Pathology, director of the Molecular Medicine Unit at the University of Milano-Bicocca where she was pro-rector for International Affairs for 8 years (2006–2013). She is the Director of BBMRI.it, a national node of BBMRI-ERIC and of EMMRI... Read More →
avatar for Zisis Kozlakidis

Zisis Kozlakidis

Head, Laboratory Services and Biobanking, IARC/WHO
Dr Zisis Kozlakidis,  Head of the Laboratory Services and Biobank Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in Lyon, France, has been past President of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), and Innovation Fellow a... Read More →
avatar for Jens Habermann

Jens Habermann

Director General, Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI ERIC)
Professor Jens K. Habermann, M.D., PhD, is the Director-General of BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium) since September 2020. For his current position at BBMRI-ERIC, the University of Lübeck has... Read More →
avatar for Kurt Zatloukal

Kurt Zatloukal

Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular Biomedicine, Director of BBMRI.at, Medical University of Graz
Kurt Zatloukal, M.D. is a professor of pathology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria and is head of the Diagnostic and Research Center for Molecular Biomedicine. His research focuses on the molecular pathology of diseases as well as biobanking and related technologies. He coordinated... Read More →

Wednesday September 22, 2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm CEST