MRC UK Brain Banks Network enhances human tissue database

human skeleton with brain highlighted red   Credit: Image by VSRao from Pixabay

The UK Brain Banks Network (UKBBN), an initiative led by UKRI’s Medical Research Council, has enhanced its human brain tissue database, a web-based interface that enables researchers to access details of tissue samples from across the network. The database now includes searchable genomic data which allows tissue samples to be selected on the basis of genetic risk, as well as clinical and pathological findings.

The enriched database integrates genomic data from over 2,000 brains, which are drawn from collaborating studies, including the Brains for Dementia Research dataset hosted by Dementias Platform UK and a 2016 MRC-funded study by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

The UK Brain Banks Network is a coordinated national network of 10 UK brain banks that operate to uniform standards and share data on over 17,000 brains, of which over 11,000 are accessible to researchers in academia and industry worldwide. The human brain tissue database is a powerful online research tool that allows the combination of multiple search parameters, including clinical diagnosis, pathology findings, demographic data, post-mortem delay and many others.

These new additions will enhance the value of the UKBBN database to the neuroscience research community, expediting the study of biological processes that mediate genetic risk, and of the factors that might counter it. 

More information on the UK Brain Banks Network can be found on the MRC website.

Further information on using the database for searches that include genomic data.

Image credit:  VSRao from Pixabay



The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health.

MRC [Medical Research Council]