New website launched for Norwich’s health research biobank

11th May 2021

A biobank for health research based on the Norwich Research Park has launched a new website designed to help the public learn more about donating tissue samples to help advance medical research.

The Norwich Research Park (NRP) Biorepository is a partnership between the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB) and the University of East Anglia (UEA) and provides donated samples of human tissue to health researchers.

The new website features video case studies from members of the public who have donated tissue to a biobank, NHS doctors and scientists from the Quadram Institute. The NRP Biorepository has supported medical research by UEA and the NNUH into a new test for prostate cancer, and several Quadram Institute studies, including the BAMBI study looking at improving the health of premature babies.

The NRP Biorepository helps further research into human health and a wide range of diseases by collecting human tissue (with informed consent from the patient) and providing tissue samples to bona-fide researchers, and features:

  • state-of-the-art freezer and retrieval systems to provide material for researchers locally, nationally, and internationally
  • secure short or long-term storage of tissue samples and associated anonymised data
  • NHS managed – ensuring ethical governance and compliance with legislation
  • researchers and research partners able to access patient data while protecting patient identifiable data.

The NRP Biorepository is based in the Bob Champion Research and Education building, is part of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Research department, and fully complies with the Human Tissue Act, and the Health Research Authority.

NRP Biorepository Director Professor Louise Jones said: “Many people will not be aware of the biorepository we have here in Norwich, or even understand what a biorepository does. Our new website is designed to give an insight into the vital role the public can play in donating tissue samples for medical research.”

NRP Biorepository manager Dr Rachael Stanley said: “The new website helps show how important is for the public to donate tissue so clinical researchers can help develop new tests and treatments for a whole range of serious health problems. The next step with the NRP Biorepository website is to enable people to sign up online to become tissue sample donors.”

The new NRP Biorepository website has been designed and built by Norwich-based digital agency Affinity and was funded by a grant from UK Research and Innovation’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.