Biomarkers and Biorepositories in Translational Research Symposium- October 28-29, 2010

The Biomarkers and Biorepositories in Translational Research Symposium was held at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry on October 28-29, 2010. The event was co-sponsored by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the Office of Research Alliances (ORA).

The symposium explored current opportunities and challenges in biomarker development and biobanking to address several disease areas. Various models of public-private partnerships designed to speed discovery and translational research were also discussed. The CTSI and ORA worked closely with the Biomedical Imaging and Biomarkers Innovative Science Program (ISP) in developing the symposium and five internal breakout sessions that followed the public portion of the meeting. The breakout sessions provided an opportunity for each Integrated Disease Program to identify their specific resources and requirements and then develop recommendations to address specific needs.

David Wholley, Director of the NIH Biomarkers Consortium, provided the evening keynote on October 28 and set the stage for the symposium. Dr. Thomas Pearson (URMC) and Dr. Maiken Nedergaard (URMC) provided introductory remarks and an overview of the topic to kick off the session on October 29. Dr. Scott Steele (ORA) then introduced a series of distinguished external speakers. Dr. Helen Moore (National Cancer Institute) and Dr. Russell Tracy (University of Vermont College of Medicine) outlined a series of science, regulatory, and infrastructure requirements related to developing and maintaining high quality biospecimen collections. Dr. Michael Burczynski (Roche) and Dr. Marcella Ruddy (Merck) then provided insight on the process and challenges in using biomarkers in drug discovery.

At the close of the internal session, each breakout group provided a summary of their deliberations and Dr. Mark Taubman (URMC) provided closing remarks that outlined next steps. In addition to providing an open forum to engage external experts on issues related to biomarkers and biorepositories, the findings from the breakout sessions will help inform future strategic planning activities.

For additional information regarding presentations from the symposium or to suggest future speakers please contact Dr. Scott Steele at or visit

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Photo Credit: Owen Zacharias

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