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Brain Bank call

The Medical Research Council (MRC) wishes to improve the supply of 'healthy' brain tissue that can be used as a comparator (control) in scientific studies, as part of their strategic initiative to establish an independent and co-ordinated national network of brain tissue resources (banks) for the research community.  Also essential from a scientific perspective is to obtain more tissue for conditions where patients are less likely to have had an autopsy in hospital, following sudden death.

To facilitate both goals, the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board is calling for an existing brain bank to expand activity, specifically to pilot the increased collection of control brain material. The expectation is that this will be through local medico-legal contacts; however proposals to collect additional control material through following hospital autopsy will be considered. In both cases, applications will need to provide evidence of feasibility.

All brain banks currently operating in the UK are eligible to apply, and there
is no requirement that the bank should be MRC-funded.  Support may be requested for up to three years in duration. The level of resource requested should correspond in scale to a standard research grant.

Applications must:

  • Be based on existing brain tissue collections
  • Be of up to three years in duration
  • Correspond in scale to a standard research grant in terms of the
  • resources requested
  • Set targets/milestones with accompanying time-lines
  • Clearly describe the processes to be piloted for tissue collection,
  • characterisation, storage and data handling
  • Provide a sound rationale and supporting preliminary data for collection
  • Provide evidence of tissue quality and compatibility with current scientific needs
  • Fit with the plans for a UK network of brain banks
  • Make clear what expertise is required, and how this expertise will be accessed and resourced
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of, and meet the conditions set by the appropriate regulatory frameworks and clinical research governance, to include those of the MRC
  • Meet MRC terms and conditions for research grants.


The call specifically excludes the creation of new brain banks.

Proposals must be submitted through the EAA by 10 February 2010.


FURTHER INFORMATION: Please click here.

Posted on 08/01/2010

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