Dr Jill Shepherd, at the University of Kent was one of the more than 100 people who attended the APPG inquiry report launch last month.
Jill is a Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology in the School of Biosciences and her project team is leading a discussion panel entitled ‘Public Participation and Health Equality in Future Biobanking’ as part of the 2024 quadrennial joint meeting of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) and the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 16-19 July in Amsterdam.
Jill has asked for our help with engaging people from minority ethnic backgrounds in stem cell / blood / tissue donation and /or biobanking.
To this end, she has written what follows below, which I trust clarifies the “call” (request for information) a bit for the wider community.
Thank you for supporting in any way you’re able.
Together, saving lives
By Dr Jill Shepherd
Whilst we traditionally think of ‘biobanking’ as storage of donated tissue / cells for patient treatment, we can also think of a donor registry as a kind of biobank. The panel would be enriched by participation from a wide range of stakeholders involved in the creation, management and use of all such biobanks. We invite conventional paper presentations, visual exhibitions or photography displays, as well as brief demonstrations of alternative creative methods that foster broader public engagement in advancing biobanks as a catalyst for health equity. Link to more information and abstract submission portal in the call below. Any questions or queries please contact Dr Jill Shepherd (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Persistent difficulty engaging minorities in biobanking necessitates methodological innovations and a recalibration of priorities. This is essential to evoke trusting and reciprocal partnership between minority/marginalised communities and health establishments to curate a biodatase that is inclusive and equitable for future collective health.