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.
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.
All researchers using human material should comply with the School’s policy on the Human Tissue Act, which has been reviewed and approved by the Laboratory Safety Committee. The Designated Individual and Person Designated under the HT Act will regularly audit projects against the policy.
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.