Human Anatomic Materials Procurement

USC is committed to ensuring that human anatomical materials used for academic purposes meet all applicable regulatory and safety requirements. This policy is to assist USC faculty and staff in appropriately procuring, using and disposing of human anatomical materials for research and instruction.

For purposes of this policy, human anatomical materials are defined as identifiable, commonly recognizable human body parts; excluded are blood, bodily fluids, feces, microscopic tissue samples, paraffin blocks, tissue slides, hair, nails, teeth, human cells, and any human body parts harvested for immediate clinical use (e.g., organ transplantation).

Roles and Responsibilities

Anatomical Gifts Program (AGP) – The AGP oversees the internal provision and external procurement of human anatomical materials for research and instructional purposes. All requests for human anatomical materials for these purposes must be made through the AGP.

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) – The IBC reviews and approves research involving the use of human anatomical materials, as well as biohazardous materials.

USC Stevens Center for Innovation – USC Stevens negotiates Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) between USC and other nonprofit institutions for research materials other than human anatomical materials.

Purchasing – Purchasing confirms that procurement requests for human anatomical materials over certain financial thresholds are reviewed and approved by the AGP.


  1. Faculty, staff and students may not procure, receive, or dispose of human anatomical materials from any source other than through the AGP or AGP-approved outside vendors, with appropriate documentation as determined by the AGP.
  2. The AGP will provide anatomical materials as supply permits, with degree-conferring programs receiving first priority.
  3. If AGP does not have materials readily available, it will make arrangements to obtain materials through an approved vendor.
  4. Any research protocols involving human anatomical or biohazardous materials must be submitted to the IBC for review and approval prior to beginning the research.
  5. All human anatomical materials must be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of both the AGP and USC Environmental Health and Safety.

Responsible Office

Anatomical Gift Program
(323) 442-1191

Issued by

Elizabeth Garrett, Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California