About QUOD

‘Journey of a QUOD sample’ – Donating to Transplant Research.

The Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) initiative facilitates research into organ donation and transplantation by providing researchers with samples (e.g., blood, urine, and tissue) and clinical data from appropriately consented / authorised organ donors.

Organ donation and transplantation saves thousands of lives each year and could be considered one of the greatest successes in modern medicine. However, over the past decade, there has been an ever-increasing need for donor organs throughout the UK, far surpassing the supply. This is a pattern that is predicted to worsen over the next 10 years.

As many as one in three patients on the transplant waiting list will die or become too unwell to receive a transplant as a result of this disparity.

To address this problem, the transplant community has been turning to organs previously considered to be unsuitable for transplantation, including organs from extended criteria donors (e.g., those who are older or have pre-existing health conditions). However, further research is needed to improve knowledge of and optimise outcomes from these organs.

QUOD provides a unique resource to support transplant research, with the aim of:

  • Identifying pathways of injury and repair in donor organs
  • Evaluating novel targets for interventions to repair damaged donor organs
  • Validating biomarkers that can be used to better predict the outcomes of transplantation
  • Optimising donor management and organ preservation
  • Promoting collaboration between research groups to benefit patients
  • Making previously unusable organs transplantable

QUOD is a nationwide programme encompassing all organ retrieval zones in the UK. In addition to the QUOD central hub in Oxford, there are QUOD regional centres in:

  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Cambridge
  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle

The QUOD team encompasses a wide range of personnel, including specialist nurses, transplant surgeons, academics, national and local management teams, and a variety of other healthcare professionals. Click here to see more about the team involved with QUOD.

The samples collected by the QUOD programme are available for research purposes. Samples are made available to research projects based on scientific merit. Click here for information about the access policy.

QUOD samples are obtained in accordance with the relevant legislation, which includes the Human Tissue Act 2004, the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act 2006, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, and the Mental Capacity Act (NI) 2016. Outside of Scotland, samples for research must be taken under a licence from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA). NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) holds a HTA Research licence (12608) that is site-specific and covers areas in 41 hospitals. This licence covers the collection of all QUOD samples.