American Association of Tissue Banks: May/June 2017

American Association of Tissue Banks: May/June 2017

McLean, VA
The mission of AATB is to promote the safety and utilization of donated human tissue.

The American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) is a professional, non-profit, scientific and educational organization. The AATB accredits facilities for the handling of a variety of donated human tissues including autologous, birth, cardiac, cellular, musculoskeletal, vascular, reproductive, skin, surgical bone, and non-transplant anatomical material.  In addition, the AATB accredits tissue banking facilities for activities including acquisition, collection, distribution, intermediary, preparation, processing, recovery and storage of human tissue. Membership includes more than 130 accredited tissue banks and 2,000 individual members.

The AATB’s Scientific and Technical Affairs Committee rewards new scientific research every year through the competitive and prestigious AATB Abstract Awards Program. Tissue banking professionals from around the world submit research for peer review.

The AATB has a history of supporting research - AATB founding father, Dr. Kenneth Sell served as scientific director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the early 1980s.  Sell was among the first to recognize the early threat of AIDS and he quickly allocated researchers and resources to fight this disease.  He started a program to gather blood and other bodily fluid samples from HIV+ patients in order to store them for research.

First published in 1984 and presently in its 14th edition, the AATB’s Standards for Tissue Banking are recognized around the world as the definitive guide for tissue banking. These Standards are the only private tissue-banking standards published in the United States, and they are the most comprehensive and detailed tissue-banking standards in the world. As such, the AATB’s Standards have served as the model for federal and state regulations as well as several international directives and standards. Currently, the statutes and/or regulations of more than 20 states reference AATB’s Standards, institutional accreditation, or individual certification. At least six states require AATB accreditation for any tissue bank operating in their state.

Beginning in 1986, the AATB initiated a mandatory Accreditation Program for its institutional members to ensure that tissue-banking activities are performed in a professional manner in compliance with its Standards. Today, the AATB Accreditation Program remains the only private accreditation program for tissue banks in the U.S. In 1988, the Association also began a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist (CTBS) certification program for individuals working in tissue banking. Today, nearly 4,000 individuals have been awarded the CTBS certification.

“Thanks to the work of professionals in the tissue banking field, donated human tissue has an outstanding record of safety in the United States,” stated AATB president and CEO, Frank S. Wilton. “As modern medicine advances, so will the critical role of the AATB.”

One of the most beneficial aspects of AATB’s Research!America membership is the abundance of opportunities to collaborate with other Research!America members including universities, independent research institutes, academic health centers, industry stakeholders, scientific societies and patient advocacy organizations in our common goals.

AATB is proud to be a member of Research!America and support their efforts to increase support for research into prevention, treatments and cures.

Media Contacts

Tim Haynes
Senior Director of Communications 

The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient