The scientific participation of Italy in BBMRI-ERIC is exerted by the national node BBMRI.it, established in 2013 with a joint effort by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of University & Research. BBMRI.it involves the National Institute of Health (ISS), the National Research Council, 18 Universities, 40 Hospitals, 22 Institutes of health care and research (IRCCS). Moreover, a network of stakeholders supports and works together with the node: patient associations, scientific societies (i.e., AIOM-oncologists, and SIAPEC–pathologists) and scientists provide expertise and collaborate with BBMRI in the definition of aims, organization, technological requirements, access, informed consent and privacy. BBMRI-IT includes 90 biobanks / biological resource centres distributed all over Italy and organized in thematic networks and regional networks with a matrix architecture. Both population biobanks and clinical – genetic or disease oriented biobanks – are characterized by collections of biological samples, such as blood, cells, tissues and/or DNA, plus associated epidemiological, clinical and research data, covering the whole spectrum of human diseases, which are important research tools for the identification of new theranostic targets and may help in drug discovery and in the development of personalized medicine. BioBank of Archive Tissues have large collections of well-documented, up-to-date clinical and biological information samples, supplied with the molecular genomic resources and with links to epidemiological and health care information, which can support retrospective studies and accelerate research progress.
BBMRI.it has four main goals:
- to take Italian collections of biological resources, biobanks and networks to a new level of coordination and efficiency,
- to supply new common services for the community of the Italian biobanks (ITC, quality, technology and reagent, ELSI CS),
- to provide better access for users from public and private sector,
- to contribute to the pan-European research infrastructure BBMRI-ERIC.
To achieve these aims, BBMRI.it work plan focuses on improvement of databases interoperability, harmonization of SOPs and elaboration of appropriate tools, implementation of quality management criteria, development of tools to facilitate public/private partnership, development of conditions to ensure long term sustainability of biobanks.
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