History

History

Since ever, collections of samples from human origin were kept, for medical educational purposes. In the early 1980's, scientists and researchers start to freeze and store sample in order to allow future research. The term biobank emerged in the mid 1990's as the definition for a collection of biospecimens with associated data, exclusively available for medical scientific research. The evolution of the first collections happened slowly and gradually over the years. In the 2000's we saw numerous initiatives in the whole world of professional biobanks, including in Belgium. The Action Item 27 form the national cancer plan initiated a virtual tumourbank holding tumour samples handled by specialised hospitals. Of course medial research is not limited to cancer only. In order to support the universities, the BWB has received in 2014 funding from the regional authorities (Région de Bruxelles Capitale – Innoviris and Région Wallonne - DG06) with the objective of providing a virtual catalogue of biospecimens that is not limited to cancer, but facilitates research on other diseases as well.