UKCRC TDCC secures future funding

The UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) have announced that they will be funding the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre until 2020.

The University of Nottingham and University College London (UCL) have been awarded a renewal of funding to continue the efforts of the UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (UKCRC TDCC). After a busy year registering organisations that have human samples resources in the UKCRC Tissue Directory, the UKCRC TDCC has successfully secured funding until the end of November 2020. Chief Scientific Advisor DoH Northern Ireland and Member of the UKCRC Experimental Medicine Funder’s Group, Prof Ian Young has said:

‘The UKCRC TDCC is a key resource linking researchers with biobank tissue and associated data throughout the UK. Maximising the use of human tissue collections is critical to advancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of disease; facilitating the rapid development of diagnostic and prognostic tests, and novel therapies. It is in this important context that the UK Clinical Research Collaboration funders are pleased to support the extension and further development of the Directory and Coordination Centre’.

The decision demonstrates the UKCRC funders’ commitment to harmonising and improving the visibility of human sample resources in the UK to ensure that researchers are able to find and use samples to support their research. The decision comes on the back of several medical research funders, as well as local research ethics committees, requiring that human sample resources are registered in the Directory as a condition of funding and favourable ethical opinion. UKCRC TDCC was established by the University of Nottingham and UCL in December 2014 with the aim of coordinating organisations that held human samples. In 2016, Dr Phil Quinlan took over the directorship and since then the UKCRC TDCC’s focus has been on the development and use of the Tissue Directory:

‘The Tissue Directory is the UK’s first cross-disease Directory that is built into governance pathways. We are witnessing a change in attitudes towards ensuring that all samples and associated data can be found across the UK. The work with organisations such as the Health Research Authority and the research councils and charities that fund research has made a tremendous difference. We are excited to be continuing our work for another three years and extending the depth of detail that is present in the Directory’.

The UKCRC TDCC is also the national node for the European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC). This ensures the work undertaken by the UKCRC TDCC is embedded and disseminated within a European and international context. Those registered in the Tissue Directory are automatically fed into BBMRI’s Directory, which is the largest biobanking catalogue in the world.

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Notes:
1. The UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (UKCRC TDCC) was set up to support the work of human sample resources by improving access to their human samples for research purposes. This was a direct response to the UKCRC Funders’ Vision for Human Tissue Resources which sought for the maximisation of human tissue samples and resources.
2. The UKCRC funders include: Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government Health Directorates), Health and Care Research Wales and the HSC Research and Development Division, Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland.
3. Human sample resource refers to any organisation that holds or has the ability to collect and distribute human samples and/or data. Other terms that are equivalent are biobank, bioresource, cohort, biorepository and tissue bank.
4. More information about the UKCRC TDCC
5. Access the Tissue Directory
6. Access BBMRI-ERIC’s Directory