The Norwich Research Park Biorepository is an invaluable resource for clinical research. Our resource is available to all bona fide researchers for all types of health-related research that is in the public interest.
All researchers, whether in universities, charities, government agencies or industry, and whether based in the UK or abroad, are subject to the same processes and standards.
The banking of human tissue – blood, solid tissue, and other samples – in a Biorepository (also known as a tissue bank or biobank) provides a rich source of material to drive research into normal human health and a wide range of diseases.
A Biorepository is as much about expertise, systems, and processes as it is about safe and secure sample storage in -80°C freezers. Indeed, not all samples are frozen, but they may be used in immediate experiments. From informed and ethical donor consent, through transport and archiving, to sample retrieval, robust protocols ensure research material of high quality (including anonymised donor information) is accessible across the Norwich Research Park (NRP) and beyond, including commercial organisations.
“Throughout the time I have been working with them, the team at the Biorepository have been approachable, engaged and efficient. The tissue they have provided forms a significant part of our current human colon research project, which involves staining for a variety of markers to investigate the accumulation of mutations with age.”
Cora Olpe, Winton Group, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
The Norwich Research Park Biorepository, housed in the Bob Champion Research and Education building, which offers state-of-the-art freezer and retrieval systems in a location adjacent to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), the Quadram Institute, and the other research institutes on the Norwich Research Park.
The Biorepository contains a large number of diseased and healthy tissue samples from various organs. The collections reflect the enthusiasms of various clinical teams and previous research projects. However, it can assist in providing new types of sample for particular research needs. The Biorepository also supports so-called virtual banking, in which it provides mechanisms for ethical and approved donor consent and record-keeping, while the sample goes straight from donor to researcher without passing physically through the facility.
“The Norwich Research Park Biorepository has been an excellent resource for my research. The staff are excellent and provide invaluable support and advice as needed. My research project has been able to expand becoming more comprehensive due to the time saved with the help of the biorepository.” Tom Marjarom – University of East Anglia
Staff at the Biorepository are happy to advise on organising the collection of samples in unusual circumstances, such as those from emergency, out-of-hours surgery.
The Biorepository works within the terms of the Human Tissue Act 2004 (HTA) and had been inspected and approved by the Human Tissue Authority (licence number 11208).
We also have appropriate NHS Research Ethics Committee approval. Our activities are overseen by a committee drawn from partner organisations and representing donors, which reports through the NNUH Research Governance Committee to the NNUH Trust Board.
There are opportunities to provide material for researchers in academic and commercial institutions locally, elsewhere in this country or internationally.