About ABNA

The ‘essence’ of the Australasian Biospecimen Network Association (ABNA) began in 2001. A number of Australian scientists engaged in biobanking activities recognised that a ‘gap’ existed in opportunities for sharing of information and practices amongst people engaged in this young and emerging speciality. The first annual meeting was held in Melbourne, hosted by the Alfred Hospital, in 2003. From the foundations laid down in 2003, ABNA was officially incorporated as an association in Victoria in July 2009 to provide an enduring association of biobanking professionals. ABNA is committed to providing an opportunity for individuals who have an interest in tissue banking and biorepositories to share information and experience. Click here to read the ABNA Rules of Association.

How does ABN-Oncology fit with ABNA?

In 2005 a group of 7 biobanking professionals involved in the oncology field were successful in being awarded an NHMRC Enabling Grant, and the Australasian Biospecimen Network-Oncology (ABN-Onc) project began.  ABN-Onc created a virtual biobank of cancer tissue available for research with the aims of increasing the availability of, and promoting access to, high quality, ethically collected biospecimens for cancer research.  As part of this remit, ABN-Onc developed the Tissue Specimen Locator (TSL) to provide a ‘high level’ searchable interface to help connect researchers with the biobanks holding samples.  

ABN-Onc and ABNA shared a common focus: To support and promote best practice biobanking in Australasia.  When the ABN-Onc project funding ceased, it made perfect sense to combine the information from both websites into this new, improved ABNA resource.

We trust you will find the information and connections of ABNA helpful.


Work on the Australasian Biospecimen Network-Oncology Project commenced in 2005. The project was re-funded in 2010 with the awarding of a 2nd Enabling Grant from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council for a further 5 years. The main aim of the ABN-Onc project is to support, link and grow the tumour banking efforts of institutions in Australia. As part of this aim, we have developed a web-based tissue specimen locator which allows researchers to search a national database to find out if and where the tissue they need is available. A range of protocols from member banks have been developed in order to maintain a high quality of samples across collection sites and are available as a resource to assist new tissue banks. Communication across the ABN is facilitated by an email list maintained by the ABN-Oncology Hub Manager and this website, enabling individuals to be aware of our activities.

Development of the Tissue Specimen Locator – Progress Report

The ABN-Oncology Tissue Specimen Locator development has been completed and is live with current Biospecimen collection data. Contact the ABN Hub Manager for further assistance ABN.ProjectManager@petermac.org.