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Newcastle Biobanks

CONTACT 1 Amy Peasland
CONTACT 2 Karen Hedley
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SITE City Campus



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 2006 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 encouraging access to samples taken from patients and healthy volunteers. Samples may be deposited with the Biobank for safe keeping and issued on request when required. Under these circumstances there is no need for the individual researcher to register samples under the HTA.

If a researcher chooses to keep samples in their own laboratory- these will need to be registered under the HTA and the collection made available for regular internal audits. In order to assist the Designated Individual (Professor Andrew Hall) to discharge his duties as set out in the HTA licence the Faculty of Medical Sciences has appointed a Quality Assurance Manager to perform regular audits and advise on regulatory compliance. In addition 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 cryostorage. Samples can be stored at -20°C, -80°C or in liquid nitrogen.

Tissue processing capabilities include:

•sectioning •immunohistochemical analysis •preparation of tissue microarrays •digital image storage A web-based sample tracking system has been 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.


Item ID #1240.

Last Updated: 20th April, 2018

Newcastle Biobanks