The NSW Brain Banks is a formal arrangement between two brain banks, or specialised research facilities, established to collect brain and spinal cord tissue from donors in order to promote research into disorders that affect the central nervous system. The two brain banks are the Sydney Brain Bank (SBB) run by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and the NSW Brain Tissue Resource Centre (NSW BTRC) run by the University of Sydney.
The NSW Brain Banks have approval to collect, characterise and store human brain and spinal cord tissue specimens for research purposes. With the assistance of an independent scientific review committee they assess research proposals to use the tissue and distribute the specimens to nationally and internationally recognised researchers to advance knowledge of human brain and spinal cord disorders. The NSW Brain Banks focus on collecting the brain and spinal cord from donors with ageing and neurodegenerative conditions (SBB) as well as donors with schizophrenia, alcohol abuse disorders and healthy people without any disorders affecting the brain or spinal cord (NSW BTRC). For more information about brain donation please visit the donors section for more information.
Researchers are invited to submit proposals for studies utilising these tissues. As specialised research facilities, NSW Brain Banks also provides the letters of support required for submitting nationally and internationally competitive grant applications. These letters provide confirmation that sufficient, appropriately prepared tissue is available for a project at the time of the research funding application, and outline the budget required for preparing the requested tissue specimens. The tissue managers of these specialised facilities have considerable experience in the use of human brain and spinal cord tissue for research purposes and can provide valuable advice to researchers at all stages of the application process. For more information about tissue request applications and letters of support please visit the researchers section for more information.