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Working with Human Tissue under the University’s HTA (Research) Licence

Since 1st September 2006 any work carried out involving the removal, storage and use of human tissue is regulated under the Human Tissue Act (HT Act).  This means that it is now unlawful to carry out these activities without an appropriate licence.

The University Safety Office oversees the licence for the University and hosts the HTA website.  The website contains a very helpful FAQs section which is worth reading through, and refers to the definition of ‘relevant’ material.

At an early stage, you should also investigate the issue of ethical approval for your work (see FAQs, question 9).

Within the Department of Pathology, once ethical approval is in place, and before starting any work, you need to make contact with the Departmental Secretary (Academic Services) [email academic.services@path.cam.ac.uk] and the academic Person Designated for the Department (currently Dr John Doorbar).

They will arrange for you an induction with the Safety Coordinator, to include:

  • record keeping
  • arrangements for storage and transport/transfer of material
  • risk assessments
  • consent
  • SOPs, etc.

They will also put you in touch with staff in the UIS (University Information Services) who administer the database that has been developed to enable record keeping in a format that meets HTA audit requirements.