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MRC-Wellcome Trust Human Developmental Biology Resource

The MRC/Wellcome Trust Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR) is a national human tissue resource for medical research. Supported by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust, it is based at the Institute of Child Health, London, and the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The HDBR collects, stores and distributes human embryonic and fetal tissue, donated through elective terminations, for research. The resource was established in line with the ethical guidelines laid out in the Polkinghorne Report (Review of the Guidance on the Research Use of Foetuses and Fetal Material, 1989) and operates under a strict governance framework.

The HDBR is an internationally unique biobank resource used by both national and international researchers to reveal important insights into a large number of distressing medical disorders – these can point the way to critical new treatments such as folic acid supplements to prevent spina bifida.

Whilst knowledge can be gained from model systems it is necessary to study human embryonic and fetal material to fully understand human development and help tackle severe birth defects which remain one of the biggest causes of infant mortality in the western world.

For further information on HDBR, its governance and ethical framework, how to access material for research, other research services offered by HDBR, and a list of projects and publications supported by the resource, please visit the HDBR website: www.hdbr.org