Biomarkers hold the key to a more accurate, timely neurodegenerative disease diagnosis, and standard, validated methods are a must for reliable data. The EPND consortium has published “Best Practices for Biobanking,” a set of standard operating procedures for harmonisation and standardisation of biospecimens.
Researchers can access the best practices and learn how to apply them by watching our EPND Biomarker Best Practices webinar. The webinar features leading experts from six of our 29 partner organisations who present the EPND SOPs, and explain how individual researchers, laboratories and biobanks can overcome obstacles they may face in collecting, processing, or sharing biosamples.
Watch the individual webinar chapters and meet the EPND presenters and experts in biomarker discovery, development, and validation.
Pieter Jelle Visser: Introduction to EPND
Professor Pieter Jelle Visser, MD, PhD, is a clinical epidemiologist at Maastricht University and Amsterdam University Medical Center in the Netherlands and is visiting professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. His research focuses on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of predementia Alzheimer’s disease by combining different modalities such as imaging, proteomics, genetics and digital markers. He also coordinates projects that enable data sharing and data pooling in the AD field, such as the Netherlands Consortium of Dementia Cohorts (NCDC), the Amyloid Biomarker Study (ABS), and the European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases (EPND).
Maike Tauchert: From current biobanking practices to a best practice guideline
Dr. Maike Tauchert is a trained biotechnologist and has a PhD in protein biochemistry, microbiology and structural biology from the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany. Since 2017, she has been working as a Project and Quality Manager in the field of biobanking and supported medium to large national cohorts with her expertise in the areas of biospecimen pre-analytics and collection, SOP development and logistics. In her current position as Quality Manager and Deputy Head of the Quality Management Department at BBMRI-ERIC she is providing QM Services (Lead Working Group QMS, Auditing) to Member and Observer states and is supporting a variety of European projects (e.g. EPND, CY Biobank, IC2PerMed, ISIDORe, DIAMONDS) in quality-related tasks.
Charlotte Teunissen: Getting around with the EPND biofluid collection and biobanking SOP
Professor Charlotte Teunissen, PhD, has led the Neurochemistry Laboratory at Amsterdam University Medical Center since 2009, aiming to improve care of patients with neurological diseases by developing body fluid biomarkers for diagnosis, stratification, prognosis and monitoring treatment responses. Studies of her research group span the entire spectrum of biomarker development, starting with biomarker identification, followed by assay development and validation, and extensive clinical validation to ultimately implement novel biomarkers in clinical practice. Charlotte is responsible for the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam body fluid biobank and leads several international biomarker networks, such as the CSF Society and the Alzheimer Association-Global Biomarker Standardization consortium, and the recently founded Coral proteomics consortium. She is the coordinator of the Marie Curie MIRIADE project, aiming to train 15 novel researchers to accelerate dementia biomarker development.
Michele Hu: Developing a combined Cohort Minimal Dataset SOP
Michele Hu, MBBS, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Neuroscience and Consultant Neurologist at the University of Oxford, also acting as the Deputy Head of the Division of Clinical Neurology. With Professor Richard Wade-Martins, Michele is co-Principal Investigator of the OPDC (Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre), which aims to improve the understanding of the biology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and identify predictors of onset and subsequent progression. Since 2005, Michele has led the medical PD and movement disorders service, setting up one of only seven nationally-accredited atypical PD clinics (MSA, CBD and PSP) at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, in addition to managing a caseload of around 500 Parkinsonian patients. Her clinical research work is in the field of longitudinal cohort studies and biomarkers for early and prodromal Parkinson’s disease, with particular focus on REM sleep behaviour disorder, and how sleep affects neurodegeneration. Her research interests include the delivery of tractable, low cost, wearable technology that can have a real impact on patient’s daily lives, alongside imaging the human brain from prodromal to established Parkinson’s disease.
Ulf Andreasson: Test the test: evaluate your immunoassays guided by a SOP
Ulf Andreasson is an associate professor at Gothenburg University and he has been working in the neurochemistry laboratory at Sahlgren’s University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, since 2004. His main research interest is in fluid biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases with focus on Alzheimer’s disease. He has been involved in and responsible for several method validations for assays that are in use in both clinical routine and clinical trials. In the JPND project BIOMARKAPD he was the leader of the task with the aim of producing assay qualification protocols, which resulted in a practical guide to method validation (PMID: 26347708) that inspired the standard operating procedure in EPND project.
Anna-Katharine Brem: Assessment of the best practices of digital biomarker collection
Anna-Katharine Brem, PD, PhD, MASNP, is a senior researcher at the departments of old age psychiatry at King’s College London, UK and the University of Bern, Switzerland and has a background in neuropsychology. After her doctoral studies at the University of Zurich she held postdoctoral positions at the Harvard Medical School and the University of Oxford and later combined research and clinical work as a senior researcher and head of neuropsychology at the Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany and at the Memory Clinic of Lucerne Psychiatry, Switzerland. Her research focuses on interventions to improve cognition in neurologic and psychiatric populations using non-invasive brain stimulation, cognitive interventions, and digital technologies.