"Our vision is to develop a centralised human tissue provision and utilisation service for academic and commercial researchers"
UCL has the highest concentration of biomedical researchers in Europe. As part of this, UCL has numerous licensed biobanks and is associated with many research intensive hospitals in North London. The role of a biobank is to prepare and hold human tissue samples in for use by medical researchers to help delivery new treatments. Hospitals can also provide human tissue for research by utilising waste human tissue taken as part of surgery or diagnostic procedures, but is normally incinerated. The researchers using the human tissue could be working within academic laboratories in UK universities and institutions or as part of commercial companies.
Researchers currently cannot easily access human tissue to meet the demands of their research, often due to the long ethical, regulatory and contractual processes. However, with the enormous UCL biobanking and research Hospital resources, UCL could be a leading academic institution in providing human tissue for medical research within the UK and internationally.
Our vision is to develop a centralised human tissue provision and utilisation service for academic and commercial researchers. This relies on creating an overarching infrastructure, to consolidate information on disparate human tissue resources around UCL, and (where possible) gain centralised ethical and regulatory and contractual approval for use of the tissue. Funding the infrastructure will rely on a cost recovery model for a per sample basis. As a result the time needed to obtain tissue for research will be dramatically reduced, whilst providing a simple costing model for obtaining human tissue. This will make human tissue procurement much more efficient for end users.