Many areas of contemporary biomedicine, both within the academic and commercial sectors, are dependent on access to well characterised collections of human tissues. Following the introduction of the Human Tissue Act (HTA) in 2004 there is now a clear ethical and legal framework for such activity to be confidently expanded. Newcastle is ideally placed to take advantage of this opportunity as it has several internationally recognised groups which are already actively involved in exploiting access to samples taken from patients and healthy volunteers.
The Newcastle Biobank has been established to provide the infrastructure to consolidate and expand existing collections of tissues and to encourage staff to develop new collections in order to enhance the University’s reputation as a centre of excellence for translational research.
Samples may be deposited with the Biobank for safe keeping and issued on request when required. Funds have been obtained to equip a tissue processing facility to prepare samples for analysis and storage, and an air-conditioned freezer room with remote alarm systems to monitor cold storage. A web-based sample tracking system is being introduced, which enables researchers to determine what samples are available for research collaborations and to ensure compliance with the HTA. Staff in the Biobank will also provide expert advice on applications for ethical approval, assist in establishing peer-review and governance oversight for generic biobanks, and promote public engagement.
Please use the following links to find out more about the Newcastle Biobank and what happens to your sample:
Further information is also available on the Human Tissue Authority website.