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Human Tissue Act

To carry out research that leads to human benefit and for teaching purposes, the University of Exeter uses and stores human samples, some of which fall within the remit of our Human Tissue Authority licence and are therefore regulated under the Human Tissue Act (HTA).

The Human Tissue Act

The Human Tissue Act 2004 makes it unlawful to remove, store or use human tissue from the living or deceased without consent to do so for specified purposes. The Act requires that a licence from the Human Tissue Authority must be granted before these activities can be lawfully undertaken by an institution.

The University of Exeter has two licences with the Human Tissue Authority, both overseen by internal governance frameworks:

HTA Research Licence (#12104) to store human tissue for the purposes of research and teaching.

HTA Public Display Licence (#12747) to store and publicly display human body parts.


Applying to store human tissue for researchers

The Human Tissue Authority states that if a sample is known to contain even a single cell that has come from a human body, then the sample should be classified as relevant material.

Any planned activity involving human tissue samples must be notified in advance to the relevant Designated Individual.

For the University of Exeter campuses (St Luke’s, Streatham, Penryn or Truro), please 
Designated Individual: Jacqueline Whatmore

For our sister site in the RILD building, please contact:
Designated Individual: Marcus Mitchell


For further information on training, forms, standard operating procedures, management policy, please refer to the University of Exeter’s HTA website or email us.