Research using biological samples, tissue banks or data banks

Research tissue banks (biobanks)

A research tissue bank is defined as a 'collection of human tissue or other biological material, which is stored for potential research use beyond the life of a specific project with ethical approval or for which ethical approval is pending’.

The Health Research Authority does not require sponsorship for tissue banks, but it is the University’s policy to take formal responsibility for them. They should be submitted for review in the same way as any other study seeking sponsorship. It is a requirement for ethics approval that research tissue banks be registered on an HTA licence. In order to discuss registration on an existing University licence, contact CTRG or Human Tissue Governance team for assistance.

OUH NHT Foundation Trust Pathology & Laboratories

For research studies using the OUH NHS Trust Pathology & Laboratories' services access will be managed by the Oxford Centre for Histopathology Research.

A process for requesting samples and/or specifying sample preparation has been set up to facilitate access to pathology services, expertise and bioresources and to ensure that research use of pathology resources are costed and charged appropriately.

This applies to all studies using this service, both commercial and non-commercial. For all OUH and University-sponsored studies this should be addressed at the protocol development stage. Further information can be found on the website of the Oxford Centre for Histopathology Research.

Research data banks (databases)

A research data bank is defined as a 'collection of data, which is stored for potential research use beyond the life of a specific project with ethical approval or for which ethical approval is pending’.

Ethical approval for databases may be given for a period of up to five years, and will be renewable.

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