The Human Tissue and Organ Research Resource (HTOR) is a division of the National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI), the only not-for-profit NIH-funded organization whose mission is to provide the biomedical research community with human tissues for research. NDRI has a unique 24/7 nationwide human tissue acquisition network of over 130 tissue source sites, including organ procurement organizations, tissue banks, eye banks, hospitals and individual donors registered with the NDRI private donor program. HTOR is an essential research resource that uses systems customized to meet individual researcher requests to recover and distribute a broad range of high quality normal and diseased human tissues recovered from a diverse donor pool. HTOR, will continue to enhance researcher service and meet the evolving and expanding needs of the research community through, 1) continually improving fulfillment of tissue and organ requests, service delivery and communication with the biomedical research community, 2) enhancing the capability and capacity of the HTOR nationwide tissue acquisition network to distribute diverse high quality normal and diseased biospecimens, 3) enhancing the capacity to utilize technologies and improve the quality of HTOR's procurement, preservation, storage and distribution of biospecimens, 4) monitoring and maintaining adherence to the regulatory aspects of recovering human biospecimens for research including DHHS and NIH guidelines, IRB oversight, informed consent, the HIPAA privacy rule and biohazard safety and 5) communicating with the government and public regarding current research and research advancements of HTOR and promoting public awareness of the value of human tissue donations for research. In addition to the serving researchers studying a wide range of common diseases, HTOR will continue to provide human tissues to investigators studying rare diseases, including LAM, and HIV. Implementation of this plan will ensure uninterrupted service of high quality, well annotated normal and diseased human biospecimens to investigators, from an established network of tissue source sites, in concert with the development and implementation of innovative project-focused initiatives designed to meet the evolving needs of the biomedical research community.
The research demand for human tissues continues to grow and the HTOR program provides a unique service to biomedical investigators nationwide whose research requires human tissues and organs. Over the past 4 years nearly 500 scientific papers were published by scientists who used HTOR-provided tissues, confirming HTOR's indispensable contribution to the biomedical research community and the impact of these services on the search for new treatments and cures for common and rare diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
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