Biobank support and resources for those working with human tissue

Biobank support and resources for those working with human tissue

Biobanking and research involving human tissue and data are governed by specific regulations and are guided by existing best practice. We’ve made a list of key organisations that provide biobank support and resources for research involving human data and tissue.

MRC Regulatory Support Centre

The MRC Regulatory Support Centre helps the scientific community implement legislative and good practice requirements relating to research involving human participants, their tissues or data. This is a good place to start learning the essentials of working with human samples. They have eLearning modules and training in addition to the following toolkits for specific topics:

The Health Research Authority

The Health Research Authority protects and promotes the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research. This is particularly related to ethical review and approval, and research transparency. Their website has useful information for planning research, such as examples of best practice and eLearning modules for research involving human tissue, confidentiality and information governance considerations in research. They have written a short summary explaining when HRA approval is needed in relation to using tissue from research tissue banks and research databases. They also have provided guidance on GDPR for researchers and study coordinators, and for data protection officers, information governance officers and research governance managers.

The Human Tissue Authority

The Human Tissue Authority regulates organisations that remove, store and use human tissue for research, medical treatment, post-mortem examination, education and training, and display in public. You can find specific information about what research falls under their remit and more information about research tissue banks on their website.


NC3Rs is a UK-based scientific organisation dedicated to replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in research and testing (the 3Rs). They also provide information on using human tissue. Their page on navigating the regulatory and ethical framework for using human tissue provides three decision trees to help guide researchers who are interested in using human tissue in their research.

Get in touch

Please contact us if you know of a useful resource we can add to this list.