Biobanking Conversations with Irmi Feldman From University of California (Davis)

University of California (Davis) Pathology Biorepository has been using OpenSpecimen as their Biobanking LIMS since 2010. We interview Irmi Feldman (Biorepostiory Manager) to understand the work and life of a biobanker.
Irmi Feldman
Irmi Feldman
ST. LOUIS - March 3, 2021 - PRLog -- As part of the OpenSpecimen's "Biobanking Conversation" series, we interviewed Irmi Feldman from the University of California Davis on her work, life, and beyond.

Read the first interview from this series. Click here to read more such interviews.

Your Name:
My name is Irmi Feldman.

Explain your role in brief:
I have been managing the University of California (Davis) Pathology Biorepository for the past 12 years. We have been using OpenSpecimen since June 2018. I am the super administrator of the UC Davis OpenSpecimen application. I am thrilled by the high degree of configurability of the system.

What types of entities do you provide biobanking services to and what is the mix?
We provide specimens to Cancer Center members, UC Davis and Non-UC Davis researchers, histology support for clinical trials as well as de-identified specimens for researchers, specimen collection, and storage for various departments at UC Davis.

How did you get into biobanking?
In 2008, I joined as the only Clinical Research Coordinator for the pathology biorepository. I take care of all aspects of the biorepository, including specimen collection, IRB and regulatory matters, patient consent, data entry, quality management, etc.

Are you banking any COVID specimens?
We are collecting remnant samples from COVID-19 positive patients. These specimens provide a great resource for the research community trying to find a vaccine.

What's your typical day?
First thing every morning, I post the 'biorepository wish-list' in pathology for specimens we would like to collect that day; answer emails, collect specimens, work on ongoing projects, including OpenSpecimen projects, run queries, keep up with CAP requirements/quality management/monthly audits, meetings (now online) with researchers to discuss their projects, review / create policies & procedures, quality control, patient consent, etc.

The most challenging thing you've done in your career so far:
Prepare the biorepository for CAP (College of American Pathologists ( accreditation. I had to write 250+ policies & procedures from scratch, develop a quality management program, chemical safety plan, employee training programs. Needless to say that it took me a long time to accomplish this. We received CAP accreditation in Jan 2015.

A website you'd recommend to everyone in biobanking:
Society of Clinical Research Associates; ISBER

A tool, habit, or hack that makes you very productive
The more standardized and reproducible your workflows are, the better the quality of your specimens.

A 'mantra' that you would like to give to a younger version of you:
Don't get overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of you; breathe, and work your way through one item at a time. It will all get done!

What according to you is an ideal break to get away from the busy schedule of biobank?
Go out in nature – even if it's only for a few hours, read a book.

About OpenSpecimen (Biobanking LIMS)
OpenSpecimen Biobanking LIMS is used in 70+ academic research centers across 20+ countries including centers like Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Emory, Oxford, Cambridge, etc. For more details, visit

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