WIMM Human Tissue Authority Information

The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine holds a licence issued by the Human Tissue Authority. This licence is for research purposes and covers consent storage and disposal of human tissue. The Licence Holder (LH) on behalf of the University is Dr David Bryan (ext 21681, email david.bryan@medsci.ox.ac.uk), Divisional Secretary for Medical Sciences. Dr Kathryn Robson  (ext 22379, email kathryn.robson@imm.ox.ac.uk) is the WIMM Designated Individual (WIMM DI) for the WIMM HTA licence.

The MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) is part of the University of Oxford and lies within the Division of Medical Sciences. Research interests include infectious and inherited diseases, and cancer together with more fundamental processes that underlie biological processes so providing an insight into disease processes.  The work by its nature is therefore both fundamental and translational and is aimed at improving the health of people of all ages, not only in the UK but globally. Consequently staff in the WIMM work both with human tissue, in vitro cell culture systems and animal models. The ability to work with all these systems enables us to improve diagnostics and identify new therapeutic approaches that will improve the treatment(s) patients receive.

Groups working in the WIMM often participate in international teams of researchers. Consequently we receive human tissue from overseas, often from the developing world. The vast majority of these are blood samples, used in the majority for population studies or to study rare genetic diseases. Samples collected in this manner have been collected using approval from local research ethics committees or with the approval of local health ministries. We are occasionally sent other tissue samples to help develop novel diagnostic procedures or because we are able to offer testing that is not widely available.

Anyone who volunteers to participate in our studies by donating tissue does so after informed consent has been obtained. All human tissue samples are a valuable resource and their acquisition, storage and subsequent use are regulated by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA).

It is important that we ensure that any tissue samples are freely donated by informed donors and these samples are treated with the respect and reverence they deserve.

Dr Kathryn Robson
WIMM Safety Officer & WIMM Designated Individual


WIMM Statement of Safety Organization

This lists all the people in the WIMM with health and safety responsibilities. This includes all the Principle Investigators, Safety Officers, first aiders, committee members and fire wardens.

WIMM Quality Manual

This document covers acquisition, storage and disposal of human tissue and is applicable to all members of staff, visitors and students working in the WIMM who handle human tissue.

Annual declaration

Every Principal Investigator (PI) is asked to complete and annual declaration whether they work with human tissue or not. Copies are held by each group in their green safety ring binder and if they work on human tissue in their white WIMM Human Tissue Reference Handbook as well.

WIMM HTA licence related SOPs

These are listed in Appendix 1 of the Quality Manual.

When do you need an HTA licence

Flowchart  *****not sure which chart******

WIMM Human Tissue Reference Handbook

Each group working with human tissue has a copy of the WIMM human tissue reference handbook. This is a white ring binder. It contains copies of the WIMM Quality Manual, relevant WIMM SOPs, copies of annual declarations and all relevant information pertaining to human tissue held by the group. These include the HTA codes of practice, the WIMM Information Security Policy *********dont have this document*****Link, details relating to REC applications and approvals. It is the PI’s responsibility to keep this handbook up to date. The WIMM DI circulates electronically revised WIMM SOPs, other revised WIMM documents and requests for information.

WIMM Training

All new members of staff and visitors are expected to attend the introductory course to health and safety as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in card access being withdrawn.

Courses are run in the WIMM for facilities with access control. These include access to the WIMM liquid nitrogen facility, dispensing liquid nitrogen, the WIMM centrifuge facility, PCR clean room on the ground floor, phlebotomy room. Some of these courses are run once a month or more often as required.

WIMM training

Other courses are run in the WIMM. These are refresher courses on fire safety and supervisor’s responsibilities.

Outside training

The MRC Regulatory Support Centre run a number of relevant courses.

Geopace run courses teaching people how to take blood safely. These courses are organised by the WIMM DI. On average they are run when there is a demand for 6 or more people to be trained which is usually every 2-3 years.