A Scientific Facility
A brain tissue resource center (often referred to as a "brain bank") is a collection of human tissue specimens from the nervous system: the brain, spinal cord, muscle and peripheral nerves. A given facility never just stores specimens, but is engaged in a variety of functions; rapid transport, processing and database management and sate-of-the-art preservation methods are all essential features of any brain bank, including the Brown BTRC. Thus, a variety of experts, research doctors, neuropathologists and laboratory specialists, plan and manage the BTRC. Strict protocol is imposed on outside vendors whenever their services are required, particularly with respect to specimen transport; brain cells rapidly die after death, faster than the cells of other organs, necessitating rapid transport to the facility.
Serving The Community
A brain tissue resource center is established also to serve the public and scientific community. Each facility is adapted to handle the needs of its own medical research community depending on its affiliation(s). The sampling and processing methods of an Alzheimer’s disease BTRC are different than those employed by a facility that serves neuro oncology (brain tumor) researchers. Usually, a given BTRC must address several research efforts simultaneously.