UCSF Names First-Ever Chief Biobank Officer
New Position Underscores Fundamental Role of Biobanking in Research and Precision Medicine
By Shelley Wong | UCSF.edu | June 17, 2019
Unlocking the potential in biospecimens for medical breakthroughs is among the cornerstones of precision medicine. Signaling its continued commitment to pioneering research, UC San Francisco has appointed Rohit Gupta as its inaugural Chief Biobank Officer (CBO). His appointment, which follows a national search, is effective June 19.
Gupta will oversee UCSF’s biobank infrastructure, including UCSF BIOS, a program designed to provide comprehensive support for the “life cycle” of human research biospecimens to enhance their use in the life sciences. As CBO, Gupta will work closely with Harold Collard, MD, associate vice chancellor of clinical research, and Scott VandenBerg, MD, PhD, BIOS’s faculty director.
"Rohit has a compelling vision for next-generation biobanking that will enable cutting-edge biomedical research across the UCSF enterprise. We are thrilled to have him join UCSF and lead our biobank team," Collard said.
As CBO, Gupta will lead UCSF's biospecimen initiatives, working closely with UCSF Health, UCSF's academic departments, and research organizations such as the Cancer Center, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI), Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute (BCHSI), ImmunoX, and UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
“Rohit brings impressive expertise to UCSF at a critical time for our University. Through greater collaboration across campus and integration with UCSF Health, our researchers will have access to high-quality, well-characterized biospecimens that will catalyze innovative science,” said Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc, vice chancellor of research at UCSF.
One of Gupta's top priorities is building a biospecimen community dedicated to the common goals of precision medicine. Through the establishment of the UCSF Precision Biobank, BIOS will provide an electronic biobank consent, point-of-care specimen collection through partnerships with UCSF Health, standardized specimen processing and banking protocols, and integration of biological and clinical data through leveraging the strength of UCSF's computational infrastructure.
Gupta aspires to help researchers accelerate novel discoveries in human biology by improving the utilization of specimens and data. To that end, Gupta will work closely with BCHSI and CTSI to support a first-in-class digital integration of biospecimen ‘omics’ data with electronic medical record and other research data.