The focus of Bristol Biobank is to create a coordinated, multidisciplinary collection of human tissue samples.

Many areas of contemporary biomedicine, both within the academic and commercial sectors, are dependent on access to well characterised collections of human tissues.

Following the introduction of the Human Tissue Act 2004, there is now a clear ethical and legal framework for such activity to be confidently expanded.

The Bristol Biobank has a generic favourable opinion from an NHS Research Ethics Committee, enabling researchers to work under this approval rather than having to manage their own applications.

In addition to access to samples for biomedical research, additional services to support biomedical research are also in place, including a biorepository for short-term storage of specific samples, and laboratory support of NHS REC approved studies.

Governance structure

Bristol Biobank Management Committee

The operation of Bristol Biobank is managed by the Bristol Biobank Management Committee, whose membership includes:

  • Biobank Manager
  • Technician
  • Head of School of Clinical Sciences or representative
  • Research Governance/Human Tissue representative
  • Health and Safety representative
  • Lay member
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust representative
  • Biobank Executive Assistant (non-voting)

Strategic Development Board

The Bristol Biobank Management Committee reports to the Strategic Development Board.

The board's remit is to provide oversight of the strategic development, governance and ethical considerations relating to the operation of the Bristol Biobank.

The board comprises:

  • Independent Chairperson
  • Biobank Stakeholders or representative
  • Designated Individual
  • Head of School or representative
  • Head of Research Governance or representative
  • Biobank Manager
  • Lay member
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust representative

The reporting line of these committees is shown in the Bristol Biobank governance structure (PDF, 96kB), with links to the University's Ethics of Research Committee and Human Tissue Working Group.

Licence and ethics approval

The Bristol Biobank is licensed by the Human Tissue Authority (licence number 12512) to store human tissue for research. It has ethics approval from Wales Research Ethics Committee 3 as a research tissue bank to collect and issue biomaterials for biomedical research across a range of therapeutic areas.


Bristol Biobank is a collaboration between the University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust, with funding from the David Telling Charitable Trust.


Bristol Biobank
Bristol Royal Infirmary
Research Floor Level 7
Queen’s Building
Upper Maudlin Street
Bristol BS2 8HW
Tel: +44 (0)117 342 4946
Email: bristol-biobank@bristol.ac.uk

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