UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre

The UKCRC has funded the establishment of a coordinating centre for biobanking in the UK to develop an online directory of biological sample collections.

The UKCRC Tissue Directory and and Coordination Centre was established through the recommendation of the UK funders of experimental medicine, who discussed  and agreed a common vision for their investment of in human tissue resources in 2010/2011. The Centre seeks to support the work of biobanks by improving visibility to human tissue under their custody and shall do this through the creation of an online Directory of Biobanks wihich will increase the visibility of sample and data collections in the UK and facilitate opportunities to particiapte in European projects as the National Node of BBMRI-ERIC (BBMRI.uk). For more information on the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre, please see their website.

The Funders’ Vision

“Funders aim to maximise the value of human tissue samples and resources while minimising duplication of effort. This requires better characterisation of tissue samples, asking for generic consent, and increased linkage to accurate clinical data. Sample collections must then be made more easily discoverable and accessible for use in high quality, ethical research.”

In order to achieve this vision a series of actions were recommended and accepted by the UKCRC group. The full project report and a lay summary and recommendations are both available to download.

At the same time as this project was undertaken , the Technology Strategy Board agreed to fund a public-private partnership, STRATUM – Strategic Tissue Repository Alliance Through Unified Methodolgy, to increase the effectiveness of tissue samples collected and stored by creating the foundations of a UK biobanking network. For more information on the STRATUM project, plesae see the STRATUM website.