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About us

We are an ethically approved human research tissue bank, licensed by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA).  We were originally approved by the Leeds (East) Research Ethics Committee in September 2007 (07/H1306/98) then by the NRES Committee Yorkshire & The Humber - Leeds East. Our current approval (17/YH/0086) expires in May 2022.  See the list of Approved Tissue Banks at the Health Research Authority website.

We are one of a few tissue banks who offer a bespoke service suppling tissue, cell, and fluid samples from a wide range of disease types, in addition to those currently in the bank.

Through our Tissue Donation After Death service, we also have access to the rarer types of tissue, such as healthy brains, hearts and blood vessels, and our wide network of healthy volunteers means we can support researchers with requests for normal tissue samples.

Researchers who use us do not need individual project based ethical approval from the National Research Ethics Services (NRES).  We have a streamlined approvals process that allows us to deliver many samples within 4 weeks.  

Other services:

  • On-site healthy volunteer consent and samples in academia and industry
  • Support for NRES Approval and HTA Licensing Applications in the UK

What we do

Ethical Tissue procures a wide variety of tissues through a range of ethically approved consent types:

  • Surplus at therapeutic intervention
  • Additional at therapeutic intervention
  • Healthy volunteers
  • Recently deceased
  • Paediatric surplus at therapeutic intervention

By working closely with our clinical collaborators we ensure all tissues are collected according to optimised protocols providing good quality specimens for research.

All human tissue collected, stored, used and distributed for biomedical research by us is handled within the conditions of the ethical approval gained, in accordance with the requirements of the Human Tissue Act 2004 and under the governance of our Human Tissue Authority licence.

Tissues can be accessed in a number of formats including:

  • Fresh tissue
  • Snap frozen tissue
  • FFPE pathology blocks
  • OCT embedded tissue and microscopy sections
  • Isolated primary cells
  • Subcellular fractions
  • Protein extracts

Ethical Tissue operates on a cost recovery, not-for-profit basis and so a charge is made for the acquisition, processing, and supply of material.

Support of basic and translational research

We provide tissue and data for over 90 approved studies, including:

  • support for on-ongoing trials including donor consent, sample acquisition, sample processing and provision of pathology data
  • development of new methodologies to investigate drug formulation and metabolism
  • discovery and interrogation of new and established drug targets in humans
Kevin Adams freeze drying tissue samples

Research studies

Paediatric Biliary Atresia

Paediatric Biliary Atresia is a rare liver disorder in newborns. Leeds General Infirmary Children's Hospital is one of three centres in the country who see children with this condition. Consultant surgeon, Mr N Alizai, banked tissue obtained at the corrective surgery of these children, and the protocols for a pilot study into this condition is being developed. The results from this study will allow funding applications for more extensive research into this distressing disorder.

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head and neck cancer

In collaboration with Mr J McCaul, a Head and Neck cancer specialist at Bradford Royal Infirmary, we banked a large number of donated tissues. Mr McCaul funded for a PhD student to conduct studies using this tissue and the associated FFPE blocks. Consultant Pathologist Dr D Gouldesborough (Bradford Royal Infirmary), selected 20 of the most appropriate blocks for the study, these were linked by us through the donors unique donation code to fresh tissue in the bank. 

Contact us

Staff volunteer donors

A major Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) required biological blanks from their workforce. Ethical Tissue set up an independent system within the company to approach staff to volunteer to be a healthy donor, restricted the number of blood samples they could give (in the donors interest), supported trained staff in the process of taking consent and worked with the company to develop a system that maintained donor confidentiality. 

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Meet the Ethical Tissue team

Ethical Tissue
The Institue of Cancer Therapeutics
Tumbling Hill Street
University of Bradford
West Yorkshire

Tel: +44 (0)1274 235897