About the American Association of Tissue Banks

Since its beginning, AATB has been dedicated to saving and improving lives by promoting the safety, quality, and availability of donated human tissue.

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AATB supports the advancement of tissue bank professionals and tissue banking technologies so no one suffers from the lack of donated human tissue.

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AATB is the premier standard-setting body promoting the safety and use of donated human tissue.

AATB's History

40 Years of Safety, Collaboration, and Education

The Association was founded in 1976 by a group of doctors and scientists who had started in 1949 our nation's first tissue bank, the United States Navy Tissue Bank. Recognizing the increasing use of human tissue for transplant, these individuals saw the need for a national organization to develop standards, promote ethics and increase donations.

Since its beginning, AATB has been dedicated to improving and saving lives by promoting the safety, quality, and availability of donated human tissue. To fulfill that mission, AATB publishes standards, accredits tissue banks, and certifies personnel. The association also interacts with regulatory agencies and conducts educational meetings.

Comprehensive & Detailed Tissue Banking Standards

First published in 1984 and presently in its 14th edition, AATB’s Standards for Tissue Banking are recognized in both the United States and 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 are recognized for their comprehensive and detailed approach to establishing safe tissue practices.

As such, 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 several states reference AATB’s Standards, institutional accreditation, or individual certification.

Accreditation and Certification Programs

Beginning in 1986, 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 US. In 1988, the Association also began a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist (CTBS) certification program for individuals working in tissue banking. Today, approximately 2,800 have been awarded the CTBS certification.

Saving and Improving Lives Through Tissue Donation

Since the first reported transplant in the 12th century, tissue transplantation has established a phenomenal record of growth, safety, and effectiveness. As modern medicine finds newer and better uses for human tissue to save and improve lives, the numbers of donors, tissue allografts, and tissue transplants will continue to increase, as will AATB’s role in protecting the safety of tissue transplants.


PDF: AATB Bylaws

The AATB Bylaws (as amended effective November 1, 2023) define the rules and regulations by which the association is governed. 

Download the PDF

What We Stand For

Respect for donors and donor families

Ethical behavior

Safety through quality systems and standards

Professional development


Community collaboration

Technological advancement through science

AATB'S Commitment to Community

Audience applauding a speaker after conference presentation on tissue donation.

Recognizing and Honoring Contributions to the Tissue Community

Community collaboration is one of AATB's core values. AATB’s involvement in the tissue banking community stems as far back as our founding in 1976, and our commitment to this community continues today. By supporting tissue banking professionals, AATB fosters an environment that allows for both professional and scientific collaboration.

AATB is honored to be able to celebrate the commitment and achievements of tissue banking professionals through our award programs.

Learn More About AATB'S Awards

Learn More about AATB's Abstract Program

Learn More About AATB's Grant Program

Diverse group of colleagues

Supporting Members in Their Unique DEI Journeys

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is the popular term used to describe formal and informal policies and practices aimed to include people of different groups who have been historically excluded. 

AATB established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ad hoc committee, made up of professionals within AATB and DEI advocates, to study where we are as an organization and offer guidance on next steps. Within the organization and here on the website, you will begin to see some of the recommendations of this committee as we aim to support our members in their unique DEI journeys.

Learn More About AATB'S DEI Initiatives

Mary Louis

Promoting the Power of Donation

Our community not only involves our members and other tissue banking professionals but also those who have been touched by tissue donation and transplantation, whether directly or indirectly. To ensure those voices are heard, AATB continues to amplify the stories of those touched by tissue donation to educate and advocate about the importance of the life-saving and life-enhancing power of donation.

Read More Tissue Donor & Recipient Stories

Share your tissue donation story

Over 120 tissue banks around the world are committed to the quality and safety of donated human tissue.