Informatics Research Seminar: Duke BioBank

October 10 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Helena Ellis
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar video is currently unavailable



There are many biobanking entities at Duke, each operating independently and within their specific area of expertise. The Duke Biobank, under the auspices of the School of Medicine, the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, is leading an initiative to link these biobanking groups via an informatics system, as well as to provide an easy mechanism for searching for specimens at Duke that may be available for secondary use.


As the director of the Duke BioBank, Helena Ellis guides the development of the biobanking infrastructure across the DTMI to improve and modernize Duke BioBanking facilities to better serve researchers and protect Duke’s valuable biospecimen collections.
Ellis spent 2 years at Brown University in Providence, RI working on the Rhode Island BioBank (RIBB).  The RIBB’s mission was twofold:  to establish a shared core biobanking facility for both Brown and affiliated researchers, and to pilot a population-based biobank study.

Prior to joining Brown University, Helena was a senior project manager at the Harvard School of Public Health and Channing Lab of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA for 7 years. There she managed several biorepositories for the Harvard Cohorts, including the Nurses Health Studies, the Health Professional Follow-Up Studies, and the Physicians’ Health Study.  She was responsible for the oversight of over 4 million biospecimens and the yearly distribution of approximately 40,000 individual biological samples. Previously, Helena worked as a project manager in the Lipoprotein Metabolism and Fatty Acid laboratory of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Helena has a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College.