University of Szeged – Biobank

Head of Biobank: Dr. Márta Széll
Telephone: +36 (62) 545-898

The collection, storage and use of biological and medical samples at the University of Szeged in research and diagnostics dates back more than 75 years. Over the decades, biobanking activity and technology have also changed and evolved, with samples stored primarily for clinical care and a number of medical and physiological researches. These initial biobanks and repositories were concentrated around some research groups, which formed the basis of the 11 biobank sites independently operating in 2011 under a regulated framework at the University. From the very beginning, the University of Szeged paid great attention to the unified biobank activity and its regulation, and to the development of its quality management system, so the network of SZTE Biobank was established in 2017, with the establishment of a unified regulatory framework. In the following years, major infrastructural and quality management developments began. The construction of a new, central biobank building with a large storage capacity and the development of building surveillance and building management systems were completed. In doing so, storage capacity has also been increased, modernized and automated according the new state of the art technologies. This made it possible to store an additional nearly two million samples in accordance with state-of-the-art technology. SZTE Biobank has established contractual cooperation with a number of industrial and academic partners, not only in the storage of samples, but also in the development of biobank technologies and instruments respectively.

The University of Szeged joined the Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC) as the first in Hungary. A Memorandum of Understanding on the accession was signed on the 23th of January 2020.

The biobanking activities of the University of Szeged currently cover a very wide spectrum, including cell- and tissue banking activities, gamete banking activities related to IVF procedures, transplants, rare diseases, medical genetic tests, oncology tests and research, clinical diagnostics, biological samples collected during neurological tests and research without claiming completeness. At present, some biobanking activities are ongoing at 19 sites, with the number of reportable samples stored exceeding 70,000 (for samples determined under the Hungarian Genetics Act 2008) and the total number of samples being 1.5 million.

The University of Szeged is one of the most important healthcare institutions in the region, recognized internationally for its significant educational and scientific achievements, as well as its medical faculty and clinical center. As such, it pays special attention to participation in international collaborations and research related to biobanking activities, as well as to the introduction and application of new scientific achievements and new technologies in their wide-ranging social utilization.