Workshop: Virtual Biorepository Resources for COVID-19 and Other Diseases of Epidemic Potential - A Global Grass Roots Conversation

The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted our interconnectivity and the need for stakeholders to address gaps and challenges together in a broader, participatory forum. One of the recurring challenges has been the lack of accessible, quality samples to advance the science of high impact pathogens like the newly emerged coronavirus. Trusted, well-archived and well-characterized samples, and readily accessible resources are needed to avert delays in development of treatments, vaccines, and diagnostic tests.

This workshop aims to engage the stakeholder community to focus on the benefits of a virtual biorepository (VBR) to provide equitable and efficient access to samples. A sustainable solution needs to provide benefits for sample contributors and users alike. We want to explore together what should be the benefits of participating in the VBR? What are some risks associated with the approach and mitigation strategies to consider?

The workshop will cover definitions and basic features of a VBR, our instrument for gathering information about desired benefits, and brief presentations by a panel of experts to address current barriers to access and solutions, followed by discussion.

Objectives:
1. Understand the virtual biorepository approach for access to well characterized specimens
2. Identify the benefits of participating in the Virtual Biorepository network
3. Consider current barriers to access and examples of working solutions

Get involved by completing the Virtual Biorepository Benefits Survey

Date of workshop: 10 December 2020