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Working with Human Tissue

samples for scientific use

The ethical use of human biological samples is in the interests of participants, researchers and society. Researchers should ensure the wishes and interests of the donor, where known, are respected at all times and the welfare of research participants should take precedence over the interests of science and society.

Legislation under the Human Tissue ActLink opens in a new window 2004 provides a framework for the collection, storage use and disposal of cellular human samples (which may be body parts, organs, tissue, bodily waste products, including blood, sections on slides, and cell cultures, etc.). The University is licensed and subject to inspection by the Human Tissue AuthorityLink opens in a new window (HTA) to store and use human samples for research, in accordance with the legislation. The University manages some acellular human samples, such as serum and plasma, in a similar way.

Consent is the fundamental principle of the legislation. It is important that all human samples are treated with dignity and respect at all times, and in accordance with the original consent of the donor, where appropriate. Human samples are a valuable finite resource and it is important that the quality of the samples is maintained.

Advice and Guidance

For further advice and guidance regarding the use of human samples, please contact:

Professor Geraldine Hartshorne - Designated Individual or 07973 802528

HTA Administrative Support opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window

The DI will seek further advice and guidance directly from the HTA, where appropriate.