Centre for Brain Research

CBR Biobank


Expanding on the internationally recognised Neurological Foundation Human Brain Bank, the multi-tissue Biobank provides human tissues and cells in conjunction with clinical, neurophysiological and brain imaging information, for expanded lab-based research on human brain disease. The Biobank secures and significantly expands the human brain tissue and cell bank resources, and encompasses other human tissues (e.g. blood, serum, blood cells, skin fibroblasts, muscle biopsies) for research and diagnostic purposes into human brain disorders.

The storage facilities are located in the fifth floor laboratories of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Grafton Campus, forming an integral part of the human brain research programme. There is good evidence that peripheral cells and tissues of people with brain diseases show abnormalities which are specific to these diseases, so being able to study these changes means that our scientists can validate the peripheral cell changes and understand better the mechanisms underlying the brain diseases.

Potential applications of the Biobank include:

  • Improving early and accurate diagnosis of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease through the research identification of specific biomarkers for each disease
  • Research to identify predictors of brain disease in order to apply new treatments to prevent the onset of brain disease
  • Opportunities for intervention at the very earliest stage of the disease
  • Monitoring and understanding the progression of brain disease during life with long-term widespread studies, in diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
  • Capability to directly test new drug treatments on diseased cells to fast-track drug development from the lab to the patient
  • Identification of new treatment opportunities to slow down disease progression to give a higher quality of life for people affected by brain disease
  • Early safety testing of new drugs and therapies on human cells

The Biobank has been generously supported with a founding donation from the Hugh Green Foundation.