About us

Researcher holding up and inspecting a slide

The Human Biomaterials Resource Centre (HBRC) is a Human Tissue Authority (HTA) licensed human sample biorepository operated by the University of Birmingham.

The HBRC is dedicated to the collection and storage of appropriately consented, quality-assured biomaterials for distribution to biomedical research groups both in academia and industry. The aim is to provide a gold-standard service trusted by donors and researchers alike.

The HBRC resides within a purpose-built, fully-equipped facility that was largely funded through the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands Science City Translational Medicine Programme, and with investment from University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Birmingham and the MRC.

The HBRC is now self-funded, with annual running costs met through recharging schemes proportional to the level and nature of collaboration. Activities concentrate towards local researchers, but the HBRC also welcomes international and commercial collaboration.

The HBRC operates under HTA Licence 12358. It gained ethical approval in April 2010 to collect and distribute samples across a wide range of research themes (North West - Haydock Research Ethics Committee; Ref 20/NW/0001).

The governance structure of the HBRC comprises:

  • The Human Tissue Oversight Committee and the Advanced Therapies Facility Management Committee, which oversee governance and provide ethical, scientific and operational direction.
  • The Access Review Panel, which ensures that requests for samples and data are from reputable sources for use in ethical, scientifically valid research. The Panel includes an NHS REC member and a lay member.
  • An operational/quality management team, which is responsible for the day-to-day activity of the HBRC.

A sample collection and hosting service, and a range of other research services are also available.