Oxford Radcliffe Biobank

The Oxford Radcliffe Biobank (ORB), providing access to general pathology biosamples, is a central and key component of the support infrastructure for biomedical research. The ORB provides a variety of essential research support services that save time, effort and money and increase scientific collaboration through fair access to samples.

The investment of the public in donating samples to the biobank reflects the understanding of the huge potential importance of this resource to future generations of patients and researchers.


To support the provision of samples for research studies contributing to increasing the knowledge and understanding of disease, with the intention of improving diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately patient care.

Service Description:

The ORB provides the following services:

  • Streamlined tissue collection and processing through a centralised facility.
  • Human Tissue Authority licence cover for prospective and existing collections.
  • Storage facilities in -80⁰C freezers and liquid nitrogen.
  • Research Tissue Bank ethical approval for cancer research (subject to conditions).
  • Technical, ethical and regulatory advice.

ORB is closely associated with the Oxford Centre for Histopathology Research (OCHRe) for the provision of histopathology services, including:

  • Access to a range of biosample types and formats.
  • Tissue processing, sectioning and staining.
  • Access to equipment and methodologies for histopathology research.
  • Pathology expertise for the generation and interpretation of research results.


Samples and services can be accessed by internal (University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust) and external investigators.

Information about applying for samples and services can be found on the Oxford Centre for Histopathology Research application page.


ORB and OCHRe provide support for a wide portfolio of research, including identifying novel biomarkers of disease, designing new treatments, and facilitating the conduct of clinical trials. ORB and OCHRe work with a variety of organisations, both internal and external to Oxford, and including industry and international customers.


Since 2009, over 600 applications for access to biobank samples and / or histopathology services have been processed.

ORB is supports the Enabling the Revocation of Consent (EnCoRe) research project as a case study. EnCoRe is investigating IT solutions to give individuals who have donated to the biobank more control over their personal information. To learn more, click here.


Address:  Oxford Radcliffe Biobank, Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences Level 4, Academic Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9DU

Tel: +44(0) 1865 220550 Email:divija.jatavallabhula@ndcls.ox.ac.uk.