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As I am sure that you would expect, the University takes the Human Tissue Act 2004 very seriously. 

This message is a reminder that it is the responsibility of individual researchers to comply with the requirements of the Human Tissue Act concerning storage and use of relevant human material. The University has HTA licences, research tissue banks, and research ethics support in place to support compliance with the law.

Researchers must ensure that cellular human tissue stored for the purpose of research is registered under a Human Tissue Authority licence or is covered by ethics approval from an NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC). If relevant material will continue to be held when a research project’s ethics approval comes to an end, it must comply with HTA standards, and be registered as a collection on a licence or transferred to a research tissue bank.

All researchers who wish to store material under a licence need to be clear that they must defer to the Designated Individuals who have full authority and legal responsibility to direct how tissue held under a licence is stored and managed.

The University’s research sector HTA licence 12217 covers many biobanks and tissue collections. The Designated Individual (DI) for the 12217 licence is Dr Clare Verrill, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Pathology and the Governance Manager is Gemma Marsden.  The University’s Corporate Licence Holder representative for this and the other HTA licences held within the University is David Bryan. 

If researchers wish to retain tissue for future research after the expiry of project-specific ethical approval, registration under the 12217 licence can be arranged with suitable notice. 

A training programme for those working with human tissue is under development.  If you would like to put your name on the waiting list or have other queries, please contact Gemma Marsden gemma.marsden@admin.ox.ac.uk.

For further information, visit the HTA website www.hta.gov.uk

Professor Alastair Buchan, Dean of Medicine and Head of the Medical Sciences Division