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The NHSGGC Biorepository is an invaluable resource for clinical research, providing access to a wide range of human tissue samples including surplus materials from diagnostic and surgical procedures.  We can also provide access, with appropriate governance in place, to pathology archive specimens.

Through close collaboration with all clinical departments we source fully-consented surplus tissue and other materials in order to fulfil the need for these in studies requiring human tissue.

Each anonymised sample is associated with a limited set of clinical and demographic data held by the Biorepository.  If necessary the scope of these data can be expanded upon through our close collaboration with the NHSGGC Safe Haven.

As part of the NRS Biorepository network we provide streamlined access to anonymised samples and associated data Scotland-wide.

For Researchers

The NHSGGC Biorepository, as part of the NRS Biorepository Network, aims to provide researchers with efficient access to a wide range of high-quality and well-characterised tissue for use in research. You can download our latest user manual here (pdf).

We are independently accredited to oversee governance on collection, storage and release of biological materials obtained from informed, consenting patients for use in medical research.

A streamlined pathway supports researchers in obtaining tissue samples and discussing the design and costing of projects across a range of clinical specialties:

  • Autoimmune & Inflammation
  • Hepatology
  • Oral & Dental
  • Cancer
  • Mental Health Studies
  • Orthopaedics
  • Cardiovascular
  • Metabolic & Endocrine
  • Paediatrics
  • Dermatology
  • Microbiology
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Diabetes
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Renal
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neurology
  • Reproductive Health
  • Haematology
  • Opthalmology
  • Respiratory

It is important that you contact us as soon as possible at the start of your research discussions to ensure that we can assist you with your requirements and deliver on time for your needs.

Click here to access the application website or find our contact information below.

For Patients

Why do researchers need access to my surplus tissue?

First, it is important for you to know that when we talk about surplus tissue we mean anything that is left over from your routine medical care – no extra procedures are ever involved in obtaining ‘surplus tissue’.

Doctors and scientists need human tissue for medical research. Research is any activity that aims to discover new facts about a disease. It includes things like looking down a microscope and analysing proteins, DNA and other molecules in the tissue.

The tissue you donate may be used in all these aspects of research. In addition your tissue may be used in research with animals to model disease processes and in the creation of cell lines where your cells could be grown and cared for in a laboratory for multiple experiments possibly over months and years.

If samples are collected at different stages of a disease, it helps to understand how a disease or problem starts or develops. They can also try out different drugs and tests on the tissue. They may find new medicines or treatments. They may also find new ways of diagnosing a disease earlier.

It is important to highlight to you that any research that uses this tissue will conform to strict UK guidelines and regulations.

How can I get involved in research/clinical trials?

The research on your tissue will normally have nothing to do with your own care or treatment.  However, if any information might be of use in your current care or treatment, the doctors looking after you may discuss with you how it could be used to guide your treatment. This may include inviting you to join a medical research trial of new treatments. You would be provided with full information of any new treatments and free to decide whether or not to take part.

How does the Biorepository get consent to use my tissue?

When you come into hospital or attend a clinic you will be asked if you agree to let your surplus tissue to be used for medical research. Your wishes will be recorded electronically. In some cases, this may involve surplus tissue taken earlier in your care.

Can I change my mind?

You can change your mind at any time. You don’t need to give a reason.  However, if you change your mind after your operation, some of your tissue may already have been used for research.

How do I find more?

If you need more information you can ask your doctor or nurse, or find our contact information below.

Complains Procedure

We endeavour to provide a good service. Our complaints policy and procedure reflects NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s commitment to welcoming all forms of feedback, including complaints, and using them to improve services, to address complaints in a person-centred way and to respect the rights of patients, families and staff involved. It will support our staff to resolve complaints and to conduct thorough and fair investigations so that we can make compassionate, yet evidence-based decisions, on the facts of the case.

Should you have any comments, suggestions, cause for concern or complaints about the service you receive from the Biorepository, please contact the Biorepository Manager.

Contact Us

In the first instance please contact:



NHSGGC Biorepository
Level 3, Laboratory Medicine Building
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital
1345 Govan Road
Glasgow, G51 4TY

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