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The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group

Mid Atlantic Chapter

February 2008 Meeting

Automated Biorepositories: Successful Models

Date: Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
  Life Sciences Building – Human Genetics Institute
  145 Bevier Road
  Piscataway, NJ 08854-8009

, and see
Parking: Attendees may park in lots 54 and 51 with no
Agenda: Tours, Exhibition & Social Period – 3:00pm
to 6:00pm
Meeting & Presentations
to 9:00pm



Agenda:  Following last year’s
extremely successful meeting

Biorepositories: An Automation Frontier
, LRIG Mid Atlantic is pleased to
present a second event focused on this emerging area. We are excited to feature
two world class operations in automated biostorage whose implementation
strategies present successful models. Our host for this meeting, Dr. David Toke
of Rutgers University, has graciously volunteered to conduct tours of the RUCDR
biorepository during the social period prior to the presentations.

We are pleased to open up this meeting for exhibits. Providers of automated
systems and enabling technologies will display their newest technology and
products and be on hand to discuss their solutions.

Food and refreshments will be available FREE OF CHARGE
during the Tours, Exhibition & Social Period.

There is always a Job posting board at the social. Please encourage your recruiters to
give you material to post and distribute. Openings may also be posted at:


There is no fee to attend the meeting.

For information on participating at this event or future meetings on biobanking, please contact Andy Zaayenga,


bullet Applied Biosystems
bullet ArcticWhite
bullet Association for Laboratory Automation
bullet Autogen
bullet Brady Corporation
bullet Cerionx
bullet Cosmo Bio
bullet Covaris
bullet Genvault
bullet Hamilton Storage Technologies

bullet HighRes Biosolutions
bullet Hudson Control Group
bullet ISC BioExpress / Micronic
bullet LabVantage Solutions
bullet Manufacturing Applications eXperts
bullet Matrical
bullet Millipore Bioscience Division
bullet Princeton CryoTech
bullet Promega
bullet Qiagen

bullet REMP, Tecan Group
bullet RTS Life Science
bullet Sanyo
bullet The Automation Partnership
bullet Thermo Fisher Scientific / Matrix Liquid Handling Solutions / Abgene
bullet Titian Software
bullet Tomtec
bullet Velocity11

If you are interested in exhibiting at this meeting, please review our
Exhibitors Information page.

Door Prizes:

bullet ALA: Binoculars
bullet ALA: Luggage Tags

bullet ALA: Messenger Bag
bullet LRIG: Photon Keyring Lights

bullet and more… most exhibitors bring their donations to the meeting

Tours: Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR)

Dr. David Toke, Associate Managing Director, Rutgers University Cell &
DNA Repository (RUCDR)

From 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Dr. Toke will conduct tours of the Rutgers
University Cell and DNA Repository.

Dr. David Toke is the Associate
Managing Director of the Rutgers University Cell & DNA Repository (RUCDR) under
the Scientific Direction of Dr. Jay Tischfield, Chair of the
Department of
. The RUCDR receives over 30,000 samples per year from 500 collection
sites around the world. They have distributed over 400,000 Biosamples to
investigators for the purpose of finding the genetic causes of common, complex
diseases. He has a Ph.D. in Cell & Developmental Biology from Rutgers University
and UMDNJ-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a Masters of Science in
Zoology with Emphasis on Human Genetics and a Bachelors of Science in Biology.

Dr. Toke is the Project Manager for the National Institute of Diabetes &
Digestive & Kidney Disease (NIDDK) contract part of the National Institutes of
Health and Principal Investigator and Project Manager for the Immune Tolerance
Network (ITN)contract at Rutgers. In addition to his activities with the RUCDR,
he is a Research Professor in the Department of Genetics and Laboratory Manger
for the Department. He was nominated for the 2005 Presidential Award for
outstanding service to the University for his role in designing the laboratory
and core facilities in the Human Genetics Institute at Rutgers. He has been a
Managing Director of the RUCDR since 1999 and has over twenty years of cell
culture and management experience. He currently serves on the National Council
of The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).
In addition, he serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Cell
Preservation Technology (CPT) and on the IT committee for the Department of
Genetics and the RUCDR. Lastly, Dr. Toke has certification for working with
Human Subjects, certified as a Clinical Laboratory Specialist in Cytogenetics
and has received certification training in the shipping of biological specimens,
diagnostic specimens and dangerous goods.


Dr. David Toke, Associate Managing Director, Rutgers University Cell &
DNA Repository (RUCDR)

ISBER is the leading international forum
that addresses the technical, legal, ethical, and managerial issues relevant to
repositories of biological and environmental specimens. Dr. Toke will present a
brief overview of ISBER; including advantages of membership, corporate sponsors,
Best Practices 2nd Edition, and the
annual meeting in May at

Development and validation of the UK Biobank sample handling,
processing and archiving protocol

Tim Peakman, Executive Director, UK Biobank

UK Biobank is a large prospective study established in the United Kingdom to
determine the role of genetic factors, environmental exposures and lifestyle in
the causes of major diseases of late and middle age. Extensive data and
biological samples are being collected from 500,000 participants aged between 40
and 69 years. Which biological samples are collected and how they are processed
and stored will have a major impact on the future value of the UK Biobank
resource. The UK Biobank sample handling and storage protocol has been carefully
designed to future proof the study (i.e. to avoid, as far as can be predicted,
processing or storage approaches that will preclude current or future assays)
and to provide a resource that would give the maximum scientific value within
the available budget. The protocol was developed through a thorough review of
the literature on sample handling and processing as well as wide consultation
within the academic community. This approach addressed issues such as which
samples should be collected, how and when they should be processed, and how the
processed samples should be stored to ensure their long term integrity. The
factors involved in developing the final protocol will be discussed. The
recommended protocol was also extensively tested in a series of pilot studies
conducted by collaborating groups throughout the UK. Using a variety of
technologies to assay the genome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome, these
studies examined the stability of a wide range of components of blood and urine
maintained at either 4ºC or 18ºC
for varying times prior to processing and cryopreservation. An overview of the
results of these pilots will be presented. The sample processing and archiving
protocol adopted by UK Biobank provides a feasible approach to quality and
throughput that reflects the size and aims of the project within the available

Tim Peakman is Executive Director for UK Biobank and has overall
responsibility for the day-to-day running of the organisation. Tim started work
at UK Biobank in April 2004 as the director of operations and has led the
design, implementation and operation of the study. With ten year’s research
experience in the pharmaceutical industry and as a senior consultant in drug
discovery, Tim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to UK Biobank. As a
consultant, at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he advised discovery organisations in the
pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries on a variety of projects addressing
productivity of early drug discovery pipelines. His particular interest was the
effective planning and implementation of automation in complex drug discovery
processes. He has written a number of papers on transferring process and
methodology from industrialisation in other industries and on implementing
supply chain disciplines to high throughput screening. In the pharmaceutical
industry, Tim worked on humanising monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of
HIV and autoimmune disease. Later his research focused on the molecular events
leading to epilepsy and pain. He completed his doctoral studies on bacterial
anaerobic gene regulation at the University of Birmingham in 1988.

Implementation of the UK Biobank

Paul Downey, Director of Operations, UK Biobank

UK Biobank is a new organisation, set up to facilitate efficient medical and
scientific research. The project will recruit 500,000 volunteer members of the
public over a period of three years. The volunteers provide detailed information
about the health and lifestyle and consent to access to their health care
records. This will form a valuable resource that can be rapidly accessed by
research organisations.

In order to deliver the project, a national network of recruitment clinics
has been established to receive and process the volunteer participants. A
biological specimen processing factory has been constructed and an automated
biological specimen repository developed, having the capacity to process and
store the 14,000,000 sample aliquots that will be created.

The use and delivered benefits of utilising modern manufacturing practices to
design implement and operate a sample processing facility will be discussed. The
use of appropriate techniques during the evolving phases of the project: the
research and design phase, the operations development phase and the operational
phase will be covered. Selection and implementing appropriate culture and
quality systems at the phases of the project to support the organisational
objectives will be discussed.

Paul Downey took up his post as Director of Operations for the UK Biobank
in July 2004 after seven years supplying automation systems to industry and the
experience of setting up and managing a DNA bank,. Paul is responsible for the
development and management of the UK Biobank laboratory and clinical facilities.
Given the project’s scale, coordinating the collection, transport, fractionation
and storage of samples for future analysis is a complex task. Paul previously
worked as a project Director at Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research (CIGMR),
based at the University of Manchester, where is set up and managed the Medical
Research Council (MRC) DNA bank Paul graduated with a BSc in Biology from
Lancaster University and the University of Florida, Gainsville in June 1998.
Paul is also a Director of a Manchester-based biotechnology company and is
completing an MBA with the University of Leicester Management School.

The Pfizer Liquid Store, DNA & BioFluids REMP Store

Craig Hines, Manager, Liquid Store Center of Emphasis, Pfizer – Kings
Heights Technology Center

Diane Johnson, Head of DNA & BioFluids Center of Emphasis, Pfizer – Kings
Heights Technology Center

Leonid Vodonos, Facility Manager, Pfizer – Kings Heights Technology Center

This presentation will discuss the Kings Heights Technology Center scientific
business objectives in conjunction with the facility support infrastructure and
operational service delivery model. The presenters will provide details of the
unique relationship between the Kings Heights Scientific Lines and Global
Operations that laid foundation for a dynamic and State-of-the-Art technological

Recently Global Operations has collaboratively developed and implemented a
wide variety of business specific services including Processing Labs humidity
control, management of service contracts based on contractual partnership,
scheduling and coordination of preventative maintenance, demand repair work,
handling service related documentation, Facility Center asset management, 24/7
monitoring and equipment emergency response, production process consumable
supply/tracking and lab support technical services. Global Operations has made a
commitment to deliver cost-effective services and solutions that enhance
scientific productivity.

The timelines for design, manufacture, and installation of the REMP Stores
will be presented. As well as a number of functionalities that was developed for
the Liquid Store, DNA & BioFluids REMP store & laboratories.

Craig received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State
University in 1980 where he was also licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission as a Reactor Operator for the university’s research nuclear reactor.
Upon graduation he was an R&D engineer for DuPont at the Savannah River
Laboratory, specializing in the solvent extraction of Uranium and Plutonium from
irradiated fuel. Later, he was a shift supervisor for several of the nuclear
reactors at the Savannah River Plant. He joined Northeast Utilities in 1987 to
teach Nuclear Reactor Theory and Thermodynamics to the operators at the four
nuclear power plants in Connecticut and was licensed as a Senior Reactor
Operator. During his tenure with Northeast Utilities, he also spent eight years
as an engineering supervisor for instrument and controls engineers at the
Millstone Nuclear Power Station. Craig joined Pfizer in 2001 and was the
business lead for several large automation initiatives at the Kings Heights
Technology Center. In 2003 he transitioned to the role of operational manager
responsible for supporting the daily production activities for Material
Management at Kings Heights. As part of that role, he was responsible for
representing the business during the design, construction, and testing of the
automation to support the DNA & BioFluids Center of Emphasis. In April of this
year, he was appointed to his current position as the lead for the Liquid Store
Center of Emphasis but continues in an advisory role on the operation of the
REMP -20/-80 store for the storage and retrieval of DNA & BioFluids.

Diane’s research has centered in the field of Drug Metabolism, Laboratory
Automation, High Throughput Technologies and Material Management during her
career at Pfizer Global Research & Development. Currently she is the Head of
Pfizer’s DNA & BioFluids Center of Emphasis at Kings Heights Technology Center
in Groton, CT. Additionally, Diane serves as a role model for Women in
Technology, a program at the Community College of Rhode Island committed to
helping women and minorities to understand more fully the opportunities that are
available in technology related programs of study.

Lenny received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic College,
Minsk, Belarus and Facility Management Designation from BOMI (Building Owners
and Manages Institute International), Hartford, USA. During his career, he
worked as a supervisor at Minsk Subway construction, Project Manager at new
Minsk International Airport, and Facility Manager at Belarusian Academy of
Science. He jointed Pfizer in 1998 and developed relevant expertise in the
areas of: All phases of facility and
project management, Building start up and
commissioning, Development and implementation
of operational M&O programs, Lab Instrumentation services
program development and administration, Contract administration and
outsourcing strategies. Lenny received a Pfizer Global Operations Excellence Award in 2007 for his
supporting role in the BioBank project development and -20 /-80C cooling system

Presentation:  The
Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository

Dr. Andrew Brooks, Associate Director of Technology Development for the
Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR)

The Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) is among the largest
academic repositories in the world. The scope of the repository grows every year
and includes service offerings that range from DNA extraction to cell line
immortalization in addition to a considerable sample distribution program.
Currently the RUCDR maintains several large federal respoitories for the
following NIH institutes: NIAAA, NIDA, NIMH and NIDDK. Additionally, the RUCDR
services several foundation projects that include and are not limited to the
Simons Autism Foundation and the New Jersey Tourettes collection. In total the
RUCDR currently manages over 60 different clinically based projects through
these and other agencies which help geneticists around the world understand the
genetic basis for over 25 different diseases. In order to coordinate the
collection and processing of samples from over 400 collection sites worldwide
and manage over 1 million cell line aliquots and 750,000 samples in mechanical
storage the RUCDR has developed several sophisticated automation schemes to
handle many aspects of the RUCDR workflow. The structure of the RUCDR, a
description of its automation infrastructure and a detailed overview of the
programs services will be discussed.

Dr. Brooks is Director of the Bionomics Research and Technology Center. He
currently holds an appointment as an Associate Professor of Envrionmental
Medicine and Genetics at UMDNJ / Rutgers. Additionaly, Dr. Brooks is the
Associate Director of Technology Development for the Rutgers University Cell and
DNA Repository (RUCDR). Dr. Brooks laboratory has three main areas of interest.
First, his group works on deciphering the molecular mechanisms that underlie
memory and learning. They utilize a variety of technologies for genetic
modification as well as investigate gene-environment interactions in the context
of aging, neurodegenerative disease and neurotoxicant exposure. Their research
utilizes many high-throughput genomics based technologies to study these areas.
Second, his group is involved in the development of novel informatics approaches
to better understand complex genomics-based data sets. The team has recently
developed a novel method for interpreting complex gene expression data sets as a
function of biological relevance. This approach is being utilized both in the
basic science and clinical arenas. Lastly, Dr. Brooks’ team is engaged in a
number of technology development programs. Currently, they are developing new
applications in the area of transcript profiling and protein profiling that can
be applied to both standard and novel technology platforms. Dr. Brooks has held
regional positions such as Director of the AMDeC Microarray Resource Center,
which helps coordinate all microarray and genomics related activities for New
York State. On a national level, Dr. Brooks recently chaired the Microarray
Research Group for the Association of Biomedical Resource Facilities.

Note: These presentations will be archived on our Presentations page:



Beginning at 3:00 PM we have a Deli Buffet with:

Super Beef with Roast Beef, Pastrami & Muenster on Pumpernickel

Sloppy Joe with Turkey, Ham & Swiss on Rye with Russian dressing

Mozzarella, Basil & Roasted Red Pepper on French Bread & Red Bliss Potato Salad

Then at 4:00 PM we serve Hot entrees:

Italian & Garlic Breads, Whole Green Beans and Caesar Salad

Fried Chicken, Four Cheese Baked Pasta; Tricolor Rotini with Fresh Vegetables

Accompanying the buffet and entrees:

Assorted Soda & water

Brownies & Assorted Layer cakes

Fresh Brewed Coffee, Decaf & Tea

Cash bar

Food and refreshments are free of charge to attendees – they are paid for by
the exhibitors, so please be sure to visit all their tables!


Detailed directions may be found at <http://lifesci.rutgers.edu/~genetics/directions.asp>.

Do not believe your GPS! We found out the hard way that the GPS maps
put you into the "other" section of Bevier Road which is not contiguous with the
section where you will find the Life Science Building. For you GPS techies, the
LSB is actually at Latitude 40°31’27.41"N, Longtitude 74°27’49.01"W.

We’ve posted a Google map at <http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=40.524288,-74.463626&spn=0.005978,0.009978&t=h&z=17&msid=105337714125451318779.00044649eeb95c5ce70ab>

also embedded here:

View Larger Map

Local Hotels:

Embassy Suites Piscataway – Somerset

121 Centennial Avenue

Piscataway, New Jersey, 08854

Tel: 1-732-980-0500
Radisson Hotel

21 Kingsbridge Road

Piscataway NJ 08854

Reservations: (888) 201-1718, Telephone: (732) 980-0400



Visit The Laboratory Robotics
Interest Group homepage at

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