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In this interlocutory appeal, the Attorney General, appellant, challenges the denial by the trial court of his special exceptions and motion to deny the claims of appellees. The suit arises out of an action brought by 52 members of the Schoppa family, Marilyn and Tom Davis, Maxine Cato, the N.L. Douglas family, the George Weiss family, and 168 other named individuals on behalf of their families, living and deceased, herein appellees. In their action, appellees sought to enjoin Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) or Texas Tech University (the University) from destroying DNA samples, brain tissue, and medical records collected in furtherance of research on Alzheimer’s disease. The University is not a party to this particular appeal.

Appellees, who are individual donors and representatives of deceased donors, also sought the return of samples given at the request of TTUHSC if it “was unwilling or unable to continue genetic based research.” We reverse the order of the trial court and remand the cause for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.

The research project in question was begun by Dr. Shirley Poduslo in 1994. She proposed the research to examine the influence of genetic factors in the development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis conditions. The research required the collection of DNA samples, brain tissue, and detailed medical records on large numbers of people, with a particular emphasis on family groups. The University obtained written consent from each donor or representative to conduct this research. The consent forms specified that Dr. Poduslo was the primary researcher responsible for the project and that the subjects’ medical records would be available to her. The forms also provided that the donors could “discontinue . . . participation in the study at any time.” The research project was funded by a specific appropriation from the Texas legislature. By January 2000, the project had accumulated a DNA bank with over 10,000 samples from 2,200 family lines, 150 brains (137 from patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease), as well as a large collection of medical records. The project had received favorable reviews from researchers at other institutions. However, the 1999 legislature did not make a separate appropriation for the project.

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