Launch of the Proficiency Testing Programme at the ISBER 2016 meeting

IBBL’s PT programme provides an external quality assessment that allows laboratories working with biospecimens to verify the precision, accuracy and efficiency of their methods. By regularly taking part in the programme, laboratories can benchmark their performance and comply with certification and accreditation requirements. Importantly, yearly participation also allows them to monitor their performance over time and prove consistency.

As the only PT programme in the world that is focused on biospecimens, IBBL’s programme is endorsed by ISBER and has become increasingly popular over the last 5 years. In 2015, a total of 107 participants registered for 332 PT schemes, an increase of 78% for participants and 66% for schemes compared to the previous year.

For the 2016 edition, IBBL has expanded the PT programme to 18 testing and processing schemes by adding 5 new schemes:

  • Ÿ Microbial DNA Extraction Efficiency From Saliva
  • Ÿ Microbial DNA Extraction Efficiency From Stool
  • Ÿ Cell free DNA (cfDNA) Efficiency from Whole Blood
  • Ÿ DNA Extraction Efficiency from Frozen Tissue
  • Ÿ RNA Extraction Efficiency from Frozen Tissue

The PT programme was launched at the annual ISBER meeting, which is taking place from 5th – 8th April 2016 in Berlin, Germany. For the launch, IBBL is holding a prize draw at the conference, where one lucky participant will win 3 processing and 2 testing schemes. Registrations for the PT programme will remain open until the 29th of July 2016. Discounts are available for ISBER members and for subscriptions to a specific scheme for 2 or 3 consecutive years. For a full list of schemes and prices or to register, please visit the PT webpage.

In addition to the PT prize draw, IBBL is also present at the ISBER meeting through its researchers, who will showcase their research results via poster presentations. One of these posters is based on a technical report recently published by IBBL’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Fay Betsou and her colleagues from the ISBER Biospecimen Science Working Group.[1] This publication is likely to become and essential tool for the biobanking community as it guides readers to the use of the correct biospecimen quality control assays, based on their specific research goals.

[1] Assays for Qualification and Quality Stratification of Clinical Biospecimens Used in Research: A Technical Report from the ISBER Biospecimen Science Working Group F. Betsou, A. Bulla, S. Yun Cho, J. Clements, R. Chuaqui, D. Coppola, Y. De Souza, A. De Wilde,W. Grizzle, F. Guadagni, E. Gunter, S. Heil, V. Hodgkinson, J. Kessler, M. Kiehntopf, H.Sung Kim, I. Koppandi, K. Shea, R. Singh, M. Sobel, S. Somiari, D. Spyropoulos, M. Stone, G. Tybring, K. Valyi-Nagy, G. Van den Eynden, L. Wadhwa Biopreservation and Biobanking, April 2016. [Epub ahead of print]