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Human Tissue

Welcome to the LSHTM Human Tissue page.  Here you will find information on the School's policy concerning the removal, storage and use of human tissue. 


The Human Tissue Act 2004 (HT Act) regulates the removal, storage and use of human tissue, from both the living and deceased, for Scheduled Purposes (including research). The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) is the regulatory body responsible for ensuring compliance with the HT Act.


From 1 September 2006 the HTA has been responsible for issuing licences for the storage and use of human tissue, including for research purposes, in accordance with the HT Act.

Any organisation holding human tissue that is defined in the HT Act as 'relevant material' must be licensed. The School has a licence which covers the storage and use of human tissue for research in the Keppel Street building. The licence covers all relevant research activity and researchers do not need to apply for separate licences.

The School's holding of such a licence does not preclude the need for principal investigators to obtain approval from the relevant ethics committee to undertake research on human tissue.  It is the investigator’s responsibility to ensure that human tissue is not retained longer than necessary.

School policy

The School's policy on the Human Tissue Act can be found here.  All researchers using human material is expected to comply with the policy, which has been reviewed and approved by the Laboratory Safety Committee.  The Designated Individual and Person Designated under the HTAct will regularly audit projects against the policy.

Overseas sites

The HT Act is primarily concerned with tissue in the UK, however, imported material from overseas is subject to UK licence arrangements and must therefore comply with the HT Act as well as LSHTM policy.

Overseas projects with samples that will not be imported to the UK are encouraged to adopt the policy as far as practicable as part of good research practice.


Please contact Patricia Henley, who is the Designated Individual (DI) or Naomi Tranter, who is the Person Designated (PD) if you have any questions regarding licensed activity at LSHTM. Further information can be found on the intranet (for staff and students only).

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