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Image: Microscope that was connected with camera at eyepiece into computer, background of laboratory

Manchester Brain Bank

Description

The Manchester Brain Bank collects and supplies human brain tissues for research locally, nationally and internationally.

Established in 1986 by Professor David Mann, the Brain Bank has underpinned much of the basic and clinical research into the spectrum of frontotemporal dementia that Manchester has pioneered over 30 years.

The Brain Bank is now under the expert leadership of Professor Federico Roncaroli, Dr Anna Richardson and Dr Andy Robinson.

We work closely with many of the neuroscience and mental health research themes at The University of Manchester, including neuro oncology.

The Brain Bank is also part of the UK Brain Banks Network and uses dissection protocols established by the BrainNet Europe consortium.

 

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Work with us

Researchers can apply for use of tissue from the Brain Bank.

The Brain Bank contains around 1,000 brains from patients with various neurodegenerative disorders and from healthy, but elderly, controls. Most brains have formalin-fixed and frozen tissue available for use in approved research.

Brains are recruited through tissue donation programmes including the Brains for Dementia Research initiative (jointly funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society), the Cerebral Function Unit at Salford Royal Hospital, and the Manchester and Newcastle Longitudinal Ageing Cohort.

Process

You must complete and return a tissue request form.

The request will then be reviewed by our management committee who will assess the application on its scientific merit and ethical use of tissues.

If you have any questions, please contact the Manchester Brain Bank Manager (andrew.c.robinson@manchester.ac.uk).

Cost recovery

In line with a sustainable future for brain banking, the Medical Research Council and associated charities have introduced a cost recovery scheme for the provision of tissue. 

The tariff has been standardised and is being implemented across the UK Brain Banks Network.

Engagement and outreach

We are committed to increasing knowledge and understanding of our research among patients and the general public, as well as internationally.

Local reach

The Manchester Brain Bank team works closely with colleagues at Salford Royal Foundation Trust Research and Development to ensure that our work is disseminated to the wider community.

Members of the public also recently visited the Manchester Brain Bank as part of an Alzheimer’s Society fundraiser’s visit to find out more about the work we do.

The new microscopy suite at Manchester Brain Bank is now open for use by researchers. This suite includes a state of the art Leica DMR2500 microscope with camera and associated software. Charges for use start at £5 per hour. Any interested researchers should contact the Brain Bank Manager, Dr Andrew Robinson (andrew.c.robinson@manchester.ac.uk).

Global reach

We have also recently formed close ties with the University of Zambia.

Dr Peter Julius, Head of Pathology and Microbiology, visited Manchester Brain Bank in November 2018 to gain valuable experience in the pathology of neurodegenerative disease.

He plans to set up a dedicated neuropathology unit – the first in the country – and maintain an active collaboration with Manchester Brain Bank.

South Korean television channel KBS visited the Brain Bank in August 2019. They conducted an interview with Professor Federico Roncaroli to include in a programme about dementia, aired in September 2019. It is hoped that this programme will increase the visibility of Brain Banking in East Asia, and hopefully result in Korean researchers applying for tissue from the Manchester Brain Bank.

Dr Peter Julius, Head of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Zambia with Manchester Brain Bank staff

(Left to right: Professor Federico Roncaroli, Dr Andy Robinson, Yvonne Davidson, Dr Peter Julius, Ricky Williams)

Researchers in lab