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Workshop on Biobank Governance: An Asian Perspective

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Message from Centre for Medical Ethics and Law

Date: Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: Mrs Chen Yang Foo Oi Telemedicine Centre, 2/F, Room A2-08, William MW Mong Block, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, HK

Keynote Speaker:
Professor Bartha Maria Knoppers
Canada Research Chair in Law and Medicine
Director of Centre of Genomics and Policy
McGill University, Canada

Guest Speakers:
Professor Tohru Masui, Professor, Center of Clinical Genetics, Keio University, Japan
Professor Chang Ly-yun, Former member of the steering committee on ELSI for National Research Programme for Genomic Medicine, Taiwan
Dr. Chih-hsing Ho, Assistant Research Fellow, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Dr. Calvin WL Ho, Assistant Professor, Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
Dr. Qian Wan, Director of Consortium Network and Director of E-BioBank in China National GeneBnak, China
Mr. Chan Tuck Wai, Senior Associate Director and Secretariat of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), National University of Singapore

About the Workshop:
How to govern biobanks has been the subject of much attention and debate in recent years. Since the completion of the draft of the human genome sequence in 2000, new discoveries in genomics have posed new challenges to existing regulatory and legal frameworks at both national and global levels. Genomics has laid the foundations for new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to the treatment of human diseases. It has also introduced new possibilities for regenerative medicine and a new form of ethics in the development of bio-technoscience. This rapid scientific advancement is accompanied by important issues related to ethical, legal and social implications, such as harmonization and the sharing of data across national borders, ownership and proprietary rights surrounding the secondary use of data and samples, genetic discrimination and stigmatisation, informed consent, privacy and data protection. As a result, traditional legal and regulatory instruments may no longer be adequate for governing biobanks as genomic science moves forward. This workshop aims to provide a forum for experts from different disciplines (medicine, law, bioethics, and philosophy) and jurisdictions (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan) to exchange views and experience on biobank governance in order to further explore possible solutions for challenges of the governance of this newly emerging biotechnology. There will be a keynote address delivered by Professor Bartha Maria Knoppers, Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy (CGP), McGill University, as part of the programme.

For registration and programme details, please visit

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Ms. Polly Yiu by email at or by phone at 3917 1845