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If your research involves working with human tissue, you need to ensure you comply fully with the law. Guidance for Human Tissue Research is available to assist in this process.

The Human Tissue Act 2004 (HT Act):

  • regulates the removal, storage and use of human tissue.
  • defines human tissue as material that has come from a human body and consists of, or includes, human cells
  • requires organisations that store and use human tissue for the purposes listed below to have a licence to do so. This means that it is now unlawful to carry out these activities without an appropriate licence. Researchers must comply with the Human Tissue Act.


Researcher Obligations

Researchers who work with materials obtained from then human body should make themselves familiar with the human body parts, tissues and cells that are defined as 'relevant materials' for the purposes of the Human Tissue Act 2004. Further details can be found on the Human Tissue Authority website.


University Human Tissue licence

For more detailed information, please see:


Human Tissue Authority

•    The Human Tissue Act 2004 became effective from 1st September 2006
•    The Act is upheld and regulated by the Human Tissue Authority. For more detailed information, please see the


For more detailed information on the Human Tissue Act, please see: