2017 Award Winners

Each year the ISBER presents a number of awards to honor significant contributions in the field. Click here to view past ISBER Award Winners.


ISBER 2017 Travel Award Winner: Rogers Kisuule (Uganda)

The ISBER Travel Award provides complimentary registration and travel support for individuals from emerging countries who are planning, or are currently managing, a repository to attend the ISBER Annual Meeting.


ISBER 2017 Founder’s Award Winner: Phil Baird

ISBER is proud to announce Phil Baird as the 2017 recipient of the ISBER Founder’s Award. Phil was instrumental in setting up the organizations meetings that lead to the creation of ISBER.  Phil was the first Secretary-Treasurer of ISBER, and served on Council for nine years, including a second term as Secretary-Treasurer.

Phil began his career in biorepository management at ATCC.  There he gained experience in biorepository operations, facilities, and cryopreservation.  At ATCC he was responsible for moving the repository from Rockville, MD to Manassas, VA, the most complex moves of biological materials up to that time.  He oversaw the contract to operate the CDC Lawrenceville repository and created a small repository for the Army at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Phil joined Fisher Bioservices as head of Government Services  providing repository and related services for drugs and biologics to NIH and the Army.  Phil oversaw the creation and operation of the NIH – NCI Edgewood repository, a repositories for NIDDK, NCCAM, NCI – DCP,  NIAID DAIDS and DMID among others.

Phil has published a number of papers, mostly concerned with repository facilities.

Biorepositories were a second career for Phil.  His first career was in the manufacturing engineering of electronics.

The ISBER Founders Award, sponsored by Chart MVE, recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding leadership to the founding, support, and incorporation of ISBER as an international biobanking society. The recipient of this award is selected by the ISBER Nominating Committee.



ISBER 2017 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biobanking Winner: Dr. Allison Hubel

ISBER is proud to announce the 2017 winner of the ISBER Outstanding Achievement in Biobanking Award is Dr. Allison Hubel. Dr. Hubel is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Biopreservation Core Resource (BioCoR, www.biocor.umn.edu), a national resource in biopreservation. Dr. Hubel has studied both basic science and translational issues behind preservation of molecules, cells and tissues. Her research focuses on development of fit-for-purpose protocols for preservation, development of technology to improve preservation/processing of cells, and understanding molecular mechanisms of damage during preservation. She has developed and offered professional short courses in the field of preservation for over a decade. Her work on microfluidic processing of cells is being commercialized. She is a co-principal investigator for the U of MN REACH program that helps faculty commercialize their research. She is a fellow of ASME and AIMBE and a National Blood Foundation Scholar. She has published numerous articles related to preservation and is a former deputy editor of Biopreservation and Biobanking.



The ISBER Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biobanking, sponsored by Worthington Industries, is designed to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of biobanking. The award can be given for a single outstanding achievement or a life-time body of outstanding work in the field.




ISBER 2017 Distinguished Leadership & Service Award Winner: Katherine Sexton

ISBER is proud to announce Mrs. Katherine Sexton as the 2017 recipient of the ISBER Distinguished Leadership & Service Award. Mrs.Sexton is coordinator of the NCI’s Cooperative Human Tissue Network Southern Division, located at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and has served as the Assistant Director of the UAB Tissue Collection and Banking Facility (TCBF) since 1983.  The TCBF manages and coordinates a number of different biorepository operations.  Mrs. Sexton has been involved in ISBER since its inception, including attending the planning meeting at ATCC where the ISBER name was selected. Mrs. Sexton was elected and served as a member of the ISBER Council from 2006 to 2009, served as a member of the Education and Training (E&T) Committee from 2006 to 2013, and as Chair of E&T from 2010 to 2013. Mrs. Sexton was also a contributing author to the first edition of ISBER’s Best Practices, and served as an Associate Editor and Contributing Author to the second and third editions. Mrs. Sexton also served as a member of the ISBER Strategic Planning Committee from 2010 to 2013. Currently, Mrs. Sexton is the Secretary for the ISBER Board of Directors, Chair the Governance Committee, and a member of the E&T Committee. Along with her colleague, Dr. Bill Grizzle, Mrs. Sexton has for many years led a series of workshops and symposia at ISBER meetings and elsewhere on biosafety, as well as other topics such as ‘‘Designing and Maintaining a Tissue Biorepository.’’

This award is designed to honor ISBER members who have demonstrated exceptional leadership to further the mission and goals of the society and/or significant, long-standing contributions to the society.


ISBER 2017 Special Service Award Winners: Debra Garcia and Daniel Simeon-Dubach

The ISBER Special Service Awards recognize individuals who have made exceptional contributions towards the goals of the Society through the performance of a special service or act on behalf of the organization.


Debra Garcia

Debra Garcia, from the AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource in California, chairs the ISBER Membership and Marketing Committee, which is very active in activities ranging from developing strategies to increase membership and member networking opportunities to assisting with the development and coordination of various activities involved in the planning and implementation of the ISBER Annual Meeting. Debra frequently represents ISBER at meetings, where she exhibits her biorepository’s booth, by handing out ISBER literature and speaking with vendors who might be interested in exhibiting at annual meetings. Debra has also volunteered on many ISBER committees and task forces over the past 6-plus years, and has participated in editing the Best Practices.


Daniel Simeon-Dubach

Daniel Simeon-Dubach, MD, MHA is the owner of medservice, a biobanking consulting & service company located in Walchwil, Switzerland. He earned both his MD and his master of health administration (MHA) from the University of Bern, Switzerland. He has been in biobanking for more than 10 years. His research focus and special interest is in biobank sustainability, process and quality management as well as biomedical reproducibility. He has co-organized and co-chaired a series of symposia on sustainability at different ISBER annual meetings. He is chairing the ISBER Standards Committee, a co-vice chair of the OAC and a member of the M&M and the publication committee. He served in the program committee in the past few years and now is member of the program committee for 2017 and 2018. He is section editor for biobanking management of the journal “Biopreservation and Biobanking” and member of the editorial board of the journal “Synergy”.


ISBER Outstanding New Product Award

To acknowledge the developments and innovation in biobanking, a team of experts from diverse fields will select as many as two products to receive the ISBER Outstanding New Product Award at the Annual Meeting.
Please note that applications are restricted to exhibitors at ISBER 2017. 

Click here to apply to be considered for the Outstanding New Product Award!

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