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New human tissue bank will aid biomedical research

The University of Bradford has unveiled a new facility to provide biomedical researchers access to a wide range of human tissue and tissue products.

In 2007, the group running the university's tumour bank, which supplied specimens vital to cancer research to locally based researchers, decided to expand their activities in response to the ever-increasing demands for access to a wider range of human tissue for use in biomedical research.

Having gained a Human Tissue Authority Licence and ethical approval status, they have now become one of the first University groups in the UK to open as a licensed ethically approved research tissue bank.

The bank will operate under the name “Ethical Tissue” on a not-for-profit basis and will provide access to a wide range of human tissue and tissue products such as viable cells, cell fractions and arrays.

The types of research projects using samples or data sourced from Ethical Tissue involve many areas of biomedical science, including biological processes associated with the nature of human disease, and research into the discovery, interrogation and use of new and established drug targets in humans.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trusts, which currently provide tissue to the bank, work with patients and their families to provide information about the supply of tissue for research purposes and manage the consent procedures that underpin the bank's high ethical standards.

It is planned that this relationship will be extended to hospital trusts around the UK.

Tissue is then taken from healthy volunteers, from patients donating samples following diagnostic testing and surgery, or from transplant and cadaveric donors.

Mrs Sandie Martin, Head of Ethical Tissue, said: “Our ability to provide researchers directly with ethical approval will ensure a very efficient process that enables them to receive human tissue in a significantly reduced time frame.”

Dr Kevin Adams, Innovation Manager for the University of Bradford's School of Life Sciences, said: “Ethical Tissue will be a tremendous research resource for Bradford and the research community at large.”

Ethical Tissue