Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs



The day-to-day running of the organisation and our licensing and inspection operations are managed by a small core team, which is split into four directorates and led by a Chief Executive.

Chief Executive

Allan Marriott-Smith became Chief Executive of the HTA in July 2015. Allan joined the HTA in May 2009, most recently working as Director of Strategy and Quality where he had corporate responsibility for the strategic and business planning process, quality improvement and the regulation of living donation. Prior to that Allan had worked for a number of years as a government statistician at the UK Statistics Authority.
As the Chief Executive of the HTA, Allan is the Accounting Officer and is responsible for implementing the strategic plan of the organisation. This involves improving the efficiency and effectiveness of regulation, ensuring that the HTA has appropriate and productive relationships with its stakeholders, and leading and managing the skilled and dedicated workforce at the HTA. Allan is also responsible for ensuring that the HTA is governed effectively and provides good value for money.

Director of Regulation

Chris joined the HTA in 2007, initially as a Regulation Manager carrying out inspections and giving advice and guidance across all of our sectors. Since then, Chris has been a Head of Regulation responsible for the regulation of the anatomy and research sectors.

Chris currently leads the Regulation Directorate, which forms the core of our organisation. His responsibilities include the oversight and management of licensing arrangements and inspection processes. He also leads the development of regulatory policies and procedures. Prior to the HTA, Chris worked as a hospital doctor for nine years, finally specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.

Director of Policy, Strategy and Communications

Hazel joined the HTA in 2008, initially as a Regulation Manager carrying out inspections and giving advice and guidance across all of our sectors. Since then Hazel has held roles overseeing the HTA’s licensing and inspection operations and latterly, our regulatory development activities.  Prior to joining the HTA Hazel worked for one of the UK’s first stem cell companies after completing her PhD researching bioartificial liver devices.

Hazel is currently our Interim Director of Policy, Strategy and Communications.  At the HTA, Hazel is responsible for leading on both corporate and regulatory policy, supporting the Authority in their day-to-day work as well as longer-term strategic planning, and the organisation’s business plan.  She also ensures our communications are timely and accessible and that we develop and build on the relationships we have with our stakeholders to deliver quality outcomes for both the public and professionals.

Director of Finance and Resources

Richard joined the HTA following a career as a finance professional in central government with a civil service background, most recently with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and the Ministry of Justice.

From November 2016, he became Director of Finance and Resources at both the HTA and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and splits his time between the two organisations.

At the HTA, Richard is responsible for leading and developing the financial and IT systems needed to support the HTA to carry out its statutory functions, and the provision of other facilities and services, including legal advice. He oversees financial governance and leads on risk management, working with the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee to ensure the Authority has assurance that the HTA’s systems are effective and working to fulfil our remit and objectives. Richard drives forward the HTA’s efficiency work, determines licence fees each year and plays a key part in change management.

Authority members

The professional Members of our Board come from medical and scientific backgrounds linked to our work, and the lay Members bring a wide range of business, commercial and public sector experience.

The work of the Board is varied and includes:

  • Setting the strategic direction of the HTA;
  • Monitoring progress against strategic objectives;
  • Making decisions on policy issues of strategic importance;
  • Challenging, scrutinising and monitoring the performance of the Senior Management Team;
  • Approving and monitoring the communications strategy;
  • Ensuring that the views of stakeholders are properly accounted for in decision making;
  • Ensuring that resources are adequate to deliver the strategy and are used efficiently and effectively;
  • Overseeing the remuneration arrangements for the Senior Management Team and staff;
  • Participating in Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee and Members’ groups;
  • Acting as a panel Member for certain decisions on living organ donation
Chair of the Authority

Sharmila has been Chair of the Human Tissue Authority since April 2014. She also holds a part-time post as Director of External Affairs for the Medical Research Council.

Sharmila was previously Chief Executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) after a varied career spanning business, media, technology and health. She spent 12 years at the BBC latterly as Chief Operating Officer of BBC Future Media and Technology, managing the business functions of including the launch of the iPlayer. She also served for two years as Executive Director of Finance and Performance for NHS Sussex.

Sharmila has held non-executive roles in a broad range of sectors including deputy chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the body that regulates all embryo research and licences assisted reproduction clinics in the UK and six years as a Charity Commissioner.  In addition to her non-executive work, she was a World Fellow at Yale University in 2007/08 where she lectured on both media policy and practical cases in medical ethics.

Sharmila is currently Board Member of the BMJ, the Pension Protection Fund, and the General Council of University of Sussex, as well as an Independent Trustee-director of LifeSight, an innovative pensions Master Trust.

Authority Member

Amanda is chair of both the University College London Hospitals (UCLH) Organ Donation Committee and the UCL/UCLH Biobank Ethical Review Committee, having been a governor of UCLH NHS Foundation Trust from 2004 – 2011. She was a member of the UK Donation Ethics Committee from 2012 until it was wound up in 2016 and is also a lay member of the NHS Blood and Transplant’s National Organ Donation Committee. Amanda is a living organ donor, having donated a kidney to her husband in 2008. She is also a trustee of various charities and a magistrate.

Authority Member

A former police officer, Bill represented the Association of Chief Police Officers on several national bodies. Following that career he has held a number of public service roles. He is currently a non-legal member of the Employment Tribunals for the Wales region and a Non-Executive Director of the Welsh Government, being a member of its Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and chairing its Economy, Science and Natural Resources Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Authority Member

From 2007 till 2016, Lorna was Medical and Research Director of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).  Prior to that, she spent 16 years as an academic consultant with the University of Cambridge/National Blood Service. She was a founder of the UK haemovigilance scheme SHOT and the NHSBT/MRC Clinical Studies Unit.

Her interests are in clinical trials and policy making on safety issues. Lorna chaired the Royal College of Pathologists’ Transfusion Medicine Committee from 2010-2014 and now serves as the College’s Director of Publishing and Engagement. She is a Fellow Commoner of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge.

Authority Member

Stuart is Head of Global Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at UCB. He is a fully GMC registered physician, who trained in General Medicine and General Practice before gaining many years experience in senior leadership roles at Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Norgine and Takeda. He founded Vermilion Life Sciences, which aims to improve patient access to medicines, by streamlining medicines development through advisory activities, as well as offering and co-ordinating provision of pro bono development input to medical research charities.

Stuart is also a Board Trustee of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, and has worked as an external ‘Champion' for the UK Government's Office for Life Sciences, Accelerated Access Review.

Authority Member

'Glenn Houston has 35 years experience of working in health and social care in Northern Ireland. He was Chief Executive of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) between 2009 and 2016. Glenn has held a number of other senior appointments at both director and Chief Executive level. He is currently a non-executive Director on the Board of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the Disclosure and Barring Service. He lives in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Authority Member

Sam is a Consultant Gynaecologist, Specialist in In-Vitro Fertilisation and Clinical Director of The Lister Fertility Clinic. He publishes and lectures regularly on many aspects of assisted conception and is particularly interested in women with reduced ovarian reserve and high follicle stimulating hormone.  As well as consulting, Sam is a highly skilled gynaecological surgeon specialising in laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery and removal of fibroids (myomectomy). Sam has a keen interest in and is a leading expert on oocyte donation.

Authority Member

Andy is an emeritus professor at Newcastle University. After qualification as a clinical haematologist he developed a research programme in childhood leukaemia before becoming the Director of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research. He has a long-standing interest in the use of tissues for research and acted as the Designated Individual for the Newcastle University HTA research licence. He has served on several national grant awarding committees and currently serves on the scientific advisory board for the Bone Cancer Research Trust and the National Institute for Health Research Career Development, Senior Research and Transitional Research Fellowship panel.

Authority Member

Anthony is a practicing consultant renal physician at the Royal London Hospital where his special interest is in transplantation medicine. He is Professor of Renal and Transplantation Medicine at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, and his research interests are mechanisms of rejection and attitudes to organ donation. Anthony is currently Dean for Education at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. He trained in Glasgow, Oxford, London and Boston USA.

Authority Member

Dame Sally, a medical sociologist, retired as the Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow in 2014. From 1984 to 1998 she was Director of the Medical Research Council’s Medical Sociology Unit, and from 1998 to 2013 she was Director of the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, funded by the Medical Research Council and the Chief Scientist Office at the Scottish Government. 

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Her research has aimed to further our understanding of socioeconomic, spatial, and gender inequalities in health. Her interests also include perceptions of risk, and the understandings and use of public health research by the public, policymakers, practitioners, and the press. She has served on numerous funding and strategic research panels. She was a member of the Medical Research Council (2008-2016) and chairs the Expert Steering Group for the UK Prevention Research Partnership. She chairs the Governing Board of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics (2017-2020), and is a member of the Ethics and Governance Council of UK Biobank (2016-2020).

Authority Member

In addition to being qualified as a barrister and solicitor in Ontario, Canada, Penney is Professor of Law at the Dickson Poon School of Law and Co-Director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics at King’s College London. She is a member of the Clinical Ethics Committee of St Christopher’s Hospice, and from 2010-2016, she was a member of the UK Donation Ethics Committee.

From 2004 to 2016, she was Vice-Chair of the King's College London Research Ethics Committee. Penney is an invited member of the Working Group on Deceased Donation of the European Platform on Ethical, Legal and Psychological Issues in Transplantation (ELPAT), and was part of a small expert group which drafted recently published European guidance on the ethical, legal and psychosocial aspects of organ donation after circulatory death (DCD).

Authority Member

Graham was appointed Bishop of Dudley in 2014, working across Worcestershire and Dudley. He is a biologist by background and then, having studied theology, was ordained in 1996, serving in Church of England parishes in Middlesbrough, and latterly as Rector and Lecturer of Hexham Abbey in Northumberland. Whilst there, and alongside his parish work, Bishop Graham was a Lay Member of the Governance and Access Committee of the Newcastle Biomedicine Biobank at Newcastle University, where he was involved in ethical decisions about human tissue storage.