University to coordinate MRC's national tissue directory

08 Jun 2015 10:58:33.317

The University of Nottingham has been selected to work on a Medical Research Council (MRC) project which will improve the way that tissue samples are accessed for research.

The UK Clinical Research Collaboration’s Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre, has been established to support the work of biobanks and improve access to human tissue samples for research purposes

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Crucial for research
Biobanks store biological samples, normally from humans, and are crucial in enabling researchers to find the type and quantity of samples they require in order to undertake their research. They provide researchers with access to data which represents a large number of people. Samples in biobanks and the data derived from those samples can often be used by multiple researchers for cross purpose research studies.

The new Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre will make tissue and data collections easier to find and access and will develop standards and best practice in storage and data collection.

The University’s Advanced Data Analysis Centre, (ADAC), is managing the informatics involved in the project. ADAC is developing a metadata based system which will enable researchers to find the tissue samples they require based on a variety of criteria.

The University of Nottingham will be partnering with University College London (UCL) on the project. UCL will be working on other aspects of the project, such as developing best practice and quality assurance standards for biospecimen and data collection.

An important national project
Professor Jon Garibaldi, from the Advanced Data Analysis Centre (ADAC) at The University of Nottingham, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to work on such an important national project as the Tissue Directory. This is just the kind of challenge that the ADAC team relishes. It enables us to think about how we can take established and new data analytical techniques and apply them to help establish a comprehensive tissue directory which researchers in the UK and beyond can access to find the exact samples they need.”

It is also anticipated that the new Tissue Directory centre will connect the UK with other international biobanking initiatives, which will improve access to existing collections of biological samples from around the world.

As a result of ADAC’s role in the Tissue Directory, The University of Nottingham is hosting the National Cancer Research Institute’s Confederation of Cancer Biobanks AGM on June 17, which will explore the latest challenges facing those involved in biobanking.

For more information about the work of ADAC, please visit

For details about the Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre, visit


More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 82 32184, or email or from Tim Utton on +44 (0)115 84 68092 or email

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Story credits

For more details about ADAC and the Tissue Directory, email Phil Quinlan or tel: +44 (0)115 951 6359
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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