Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Nicola Blackwood appointed as Chair of the Human Tissue Authority

Issue date: 
21 March 2018

We are delighted to announce that Nicola Blackwood, the former MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, Under Secretary of State for Health, and Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, has been appointed the new Chair of the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) by the Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care.

“I am delighted to be appointed as Chair of the HTA, and look forward to working with a team of committed and expert colleagues on the current and future priorities for the organisation”

 “My focus will be to ensure we are in the best shape possible to tackle and take advantage of these challenges and opportunities as we enter a period of unprecedented scientific innovation”
“It will be vital to the continuation of the HTA as an effective and respected regulator to work with our regulated establishments, the public, scientists and industry to understand and anticipate the innovative environment in which we operate and ensure we are a responsive and resilient organisation“
“I look forward to meeting my fellow Authority Members HTA staff, and external stakeholders in the coming weeks and months, and taking some time to hear their views and thoughts on a variety of areas”

Allan Marriott-Smith, Chief Executive of the HTA, said: “I am looking forward to working closely with Nicola to ensure we continue to protect public confidence in the way human tissue and organs are used safely and ethically, and with proper consent."

"Nicola brings with her an excellent background of experience and knowledge across our areas of work, and also of the broader health policy and regulatory environment, which will clearly be of enormous benefit to the HTA.”


The Board of the HTA is referred to as “the Authority”, and Members of the Authority come from a range of backgrounds linked to our work, as well as lay Members who bring a wide range of other experience.

The Authority play a role in setting the strategic direction of the HTA, scrutinising it and holding it to account for its performance, which includes overseeing remuneration arrangements and acting as panel members for certain decisions on living organ donation.

You can read more about the HTA Authority and Executive Team on our website here.

Nicola replaces our previous Chair, Sharmila Nebhrajani (OBE), who had been Chair of the HTA since April 2014.


Nicola has been appointed as Chair of the Human Tissue Authority with effect from 13 March for 3 years. Her appointment will also involve a time commitment of 2-3 days per week and remuneration will be at a rate of £42,000 per annum.

This appointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Governance for Public Appointments. The regulation of public appointments against the requirements of this Code is carried out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The appointment is made on merit and political activity played no part in the decision process. However, in accordance with the Code, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Ms Blackwood has held office for the Conservative party.

Further details on DHSC non-executive appointments can be found on the Gov.UK website here.

For more information, please contact the HTA Communications Team

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News type: 
Last updated on: 8 May 2018