The UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre

What is the UKCRC TDCC?
The UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (The Centre) is the UK’s national human tissue biobanking centre. Led by Dr Philip Quinlan, it represents a first step in integrating national biobanking infrastructure to support research activity. It currently has three main work programmes:

  • The Tissue Directory – promoting the visibility of UK human tissue samples.
  • BBMRI-ERIC – working to promote quality and interoperability within Europe.
  • Engagement – working with people and organisations to promote best practice, governance and public engagement.

Why has the UKCRC TDCC been established?
The Centre was established in 2014 by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Experimental Medicine Funders Group in order to achieve their Vision for Human Tissue Resources

The funders’ vision: “Funders aim to maximise the value of human tissue samples and resources while minimising duplication of effort. This requires better characterisation of tissue samples, asking for generic consent, and increased linkage to accurate clinical data. Sample collections must then be made more easily discoverable and accessible for use in high quality, ethical research.”

The Centre has been established to promote best practice, harmonisation and standardisation, and to increase sample visibility with the aim that this will lead to increased sharing of samples, creating a more efficient UK research environment.

Supporting greater access to human tissue for research 
As a first step the Centre has launched a UK wide Tissue Directory. The directory contains the details of biological samples and data, held across more than 60 biobanks in the UK. Human tissue samples are routinely collected by researchers and biobanks across the UK but, until now, finding tissue samples appropriate for research into a specific medical condition could often be time-consuming.

The Directory aims to facilitate communication between researchers and biobanks, providing a quick and efficient route for researchers to access appropriate samples and data to match their research needs.

Researchers can search the online directory and locate appropriate tissue samples held by a specific biobank, based on the associated datasets available, the age and gender of donors, and the sample type. It is possible to search the Directory using the specific disease term, by viewing the list of diseases or the A-Z of Biobanks.

Interacting with the UKCRC TDCC
The Centre is dedicated to supporting researchers and biobanks in their work. There are numerous ways to engage with it, using the links below.

Tissue Custodian?
Register your collections
Read more about the registration process

Biomedical researcher?
Search for samples and capabilities

Further information