The Development of Brain Banks in the UK c.1970–c.2010
‘If you were to ask the man on the Clapham omnibus, or in a few years’ time those on Crossrail, which organ they would find most interesting, on account of its shape and function, I would say most people would choose the brain.’ Professor Peter Lantos
This Witness Seminar on the development of brain banks in the UK, chaired by Professor Hugh Perry, included several neuropathologists, neuroscientists, and representatives of individual brain banks and the MRC’s UK Brain Bank Network.
Discussions covered the development of early brain collections and the origins of more formal brain banking; the creation, maintenance and work of brain banks dedicated to specific diseases and neurological conditions; and the establishment in 2009 of the MRC’s UK Brain Bank Network to coordinate the provision of brain tissue for medical research.
Other debates and reminiscences included much discussion on the ethics of obtaining post-mortem brains and issues about the recruitment of donors, and the public perception of brain banks and research using human brain tissue.
Overy C and Tansey E M. (eds) (2015)
Wellcome Witnesses to Contemporary Medicine, vol. 53. London: Queen Mary University of London.
ISBN 978 1 91019 502 4
‘… we’re examining human tissue because it provides the basis of a lot of disease classification, it’s the starting point for the formulation of hypotheses as to what’s going wrong…’ Professor Seth Love