Accepted paper:

T-cell immunotherapy an ethnographic case study in progress: a donors registry and a cell bank


Violeta Argudo Portal (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

Human based banks and biobanks, an ethnographic follow-up of the creation of a donors registry for virus-specific T cells and a cell bank in Spain. Some observations on the bio-objectification processes, 'technology identities" and organizational challenges.

Paper long abstract:

This paper presents my doctoral work in progress in the broad area of human bioespecimens banks and biobanks as contemporary biomedical research infrastructures. How are human based biobanks/banks built up and maintained? which is the current role of these infrastructures for people's health and biomedical research? A research specifically placed in the field of T-cell immunotherapy in Spain. The case study of my thesis involves a qualitative follow-up of a research project on the use of virus-specific T lymphocytes in allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients, a project developed by a Spanish public institution. The main part of the project entails the creation of a third party donors registry for virus-specific T-cells and a cell bank, informally coined as the "defenses bank." This panel provides the chance to share some incipient observations gathered during the design and development of this case study. An opportunity to collectively make sense of numerous issues that pop up from my thesis such as bio-objectification processes of the T lymphocytes and its mobilities, the absence of the word 'cancer' in this project in terms of 'technology identities' (Tomlin et al., 2013; Ulucanlar et al., 2013; Gardner et al., 2017), or other aspects linked to what does it mean to create an intermediary or 'in transition' cell bank? Problematizations closely linked to the conceptual tools referred in this panel and to other case studies developed throughout the STS study of the life sciences and health technologies.

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Art and craft of joining and keeping things together
Joining together cells and tissues: novel in vitro technologies in context