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About ORB

Removing a box of samples from liquid nitrogen storage

The Oxford Radcliffe Biobank (ORB) is a research facility of the University of Oxford and the University Hospitals NHS Trust. The ORB provides a simple and efficient way to collect and store samples according to regulatory requirements, and ensures fair access to the samples. In addition, the ORB offers a Human Tissue Authority-compliant sample hosting service for existing and on-going collections.

In 2006 existing collections within the University of Oxford and the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust (now the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust) were brought together under the ORB umbrella for the purpose of licensing by the Human Tissue Authority. ORB provides the necessary governance and oversight for the maintenance and curation of these sample collections to ensure compliance with the Human Tissue Act 2004. Support from the Oxford comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre enabled the growth of the biobank and the development of a more simple and efficient arrangement for collecting and storing samples.

The ORB is licensed by the Human Tissue Authority, licence number 12217. The main site for the licence incorporates collections within the Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences the Nuffield Department of Medicine and the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the John Radcliffe Hospital. Satellite sites for the licence are located at the Churchill Hospital, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, the Radcliffe Infirmary and the Cowley Store.


The aims of the Oxford Radcliffe Biobank are as follows:


The Oxford Radcliffe Biobank is funded by the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre a partnership between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals Trust.


The governance structure of ORB comprises a steering committee, an HTA committee, a science and ethics review committee and an operational management team. The steering committee oversees governance and provides ethical, scientific and operational direction. The HTA committee provides direction to the people working under the ORB HTA licence to ensure regulatory compliance. The Science and Ethics Review Committee are responsible for ensuring that requests for access to samples and data are from reputable sources and intended for use in ethical and scientifically valid research. The Operational Management Team is responsible for the day-to-day activity of ORB.