Human Side

Biobanking is not just about freezers and samples and data. It depends on teamwork and communication. Biobanking is much more about people working closely together, and doing a little extra to help make a difference for those with cancer and other diseases (see For Patients section).

A biobank network will not work without the close collaboration of biobank staff with the hospital staff: cancer co-ordination nurses, theatre nurses, surgeons, porters, pathologists, medical scientists, IT personnel and hospital management.

There is a breast cancer team, a colon cancer team, etc. All are committed to the biobank as a hospital facility. When staff are reduced, this commitment is tested.

The biobank scientist must liaise with these individuals in order to be prepared, because tissue samples must be taken quickly so as to avoid degradation of molecules, particularly RNA. The operation specimen cannot be timed to arrive at an exact time, and occasionally 2 specimens arrive at once.

The human side of biobanking has been the subject of two publications to which Biobank Ireland contributed.