Research Integrity - Human Tissue

Human Material in Research

The use of human material such as blood or tissues in research; improves our understanding of disease and genetic conditions, facilitates the development of better treatments and allows for earlier diagnosis of disease.

The Human Tissue Act (2004) ("the Act") is the legislative framework which governs the removal, storage for use and disposal of 'relevant human material' for  purposes such as research in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) is a government body which provides public assurance that the framework of the Act is followed.

The HTA achieve this by granting licences and auditing organisations, thereby ensuring that human material is removed and stored in an appropriate, respectful and well managed way, and that the wishes of donors and their families are respected.

The HTA do not grant approval for the use of human material for research purposes. Separate ethical approval must be sought for each individual research project carried out using the material stored.

The University of Liverpool holds an HTA Licence to store human material for research and is committed to delivering high quality, ethically approved research.

To achieve this the University holds records of all human material held for research on University premises and through a network of committees ensures that all research carried out meets the regulatory requirements and is ethically sound.