About Us


To stimulate global development and harmonise best practices in tissue donation, processing, banking, transplantation and related biotherapeutic activities.

The establishment of WUTBA, in 2005, was the brain child of Dr Ian Koller, then President of the European Association of Tissue Banks, who proposed the idea of a global tissue and cell banking association to the representatives of the other international association present at the 4th World Congress in Tissue Banking, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The core idea was to establish a forum to progress and harmonize best practices across the globe, and partner with the WHO in its quest for international ethical, equitable and transparent organ, cell and tissue donation and transplantation.

A publication in 2012 in Blood Matters, authored by Scott Brubaker , describes in more details the early developments in WUTBA. (Link to text)

The current WUTBA Associated Members are the international regional associations active in some aspect of tissue and cell banking, that agree with the aims of the Union and are willing to participate actively. They are: the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), the Asia Pacific Association of Surgical Tissue Banking (APASTB), the Biotherapeutics Association of Australasia (BAA, former ATBF), the European Association of Tissue and Cell Banks (EATCB, former EATB) and the Latin American Association of Tissue Banks (ALABAT). More recently, the South African Association of Tissue Banks joined WUTBA as an Observer Member. These associations congregate 90-95% of globally active tissue banking establishments and manufacturing centers; they also include laboratories, testing facilities, cell therapy groups and other industry contributors among their own membership.

download WUTBA Rules (2017) >

Inaugural WUTBA session   – Rio de Janeiro, 2005 . From left to right: Luc Noel (WHO), Marisa Herson (ALABAT), Scott Brubaker (AATB), Ian Koler (EATB), Lyn Ireland (ATBF, currently BAA), Yong-Koo Kang (APASTB)

Inaugural WUTBA session – Rio de Janeiro, 2005. From left to right: Luc Noel (WHO), Marisa Herson (ALABAT), Scott Brubaker (AATB), Ian Koler (EATB), Lyn Ireland (ATBF, currently BAA), Yong-Koo Kang (APASTB)



WUTBA offers a forum for the exchange of best practices, for the constructive discussion on the main issues affecting world tissue donation and transplantation and the exchange of knowledge on the most recent advances in the field of tissue transplantation, biotechnology and combined cell and tissue therapies. To that purpose, WUTBA promotes the international attendance to associate’s scientific meetings, supports the enactment of World Tissue Banking Congresses at three year intervals and collaborates in the set-up of diverse workshops and panels within scientific meetings.

WUTBA thrives to collaborate and partner with other similar organizations in the pursuit of ethical and clinical practice excellence in tissue (and cell) donation and transplantation, such as the World Health Organization and ICCBAA, and to be an inspirational source for professional development and expertise.


The following are WUTBA's aims:

– Establish a free association of the world’s leading organizations of tissue bank professionals;

– Support ethical practices in tissue donation and transplantation, and stand against tissue trafficking;

– Work at harmonizing global practices in the donor screening, procurement / recovery, and processing of human tissues;

– Exchange information on events, activities, standards, regulations, education and research;

– Coordinate meeting schedules and promote scientific programmes (conferences, workshops, etc.) of the member associations;

– Organize, on a regular basis, world scientific meetings and workshops;

– Establish a global register of tissue establishments;

– Collect and publish data on tissue donation;

– Collaborate in the establishment of vigilance systems for tissues for transplantation;

– Support universal coding efforts for tissue allografts;

– Act as a global and scientific counterpart in tissue banking for the WHO.