9000 Brains and Counting: Perspectives on Brain Tissue Banking

Hosted by Sabina Berretta, MD of Harvard Medical School, this webinar discusses the future of brain tissue research.

The Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center was founded in 1978 and has collected more than 9000 brains over time. Together with similar brain banks, it provides a unique resource to investigators world-wide, contributing brain tissue to studies on the healthy human brain as well as to research on numerous brain disorders. Such long-standing experience in brain banking and tissue distribution is in itself very valuable, providing a critical foundation for evolving approaches to brain banking, which are being developed in parallel with novel ideas and powerful technologies focused on an ever expanding range of brain disorders.

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This webinar was hosted on October 19, 2016 and was designed to encourage a discussion on these approaches and future directions in brain tissue banking.
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About Sabina Berretta, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School

Sabina Berretta, MD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Translational Neuroscience Laboratory and Scientific Director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (HBTRC), both at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She earned her medical degree at the Facolta’ di Medicina e Chirurgia, Catania University, Italy, and trained with Dr. Ann M. Graybiel, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, and with Dr. Francine Benes, at McLean Hospital.

Sabina and her research team at the Translational Neuroscience Laboratory conduct investigations on the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. Specifically, human postmortem, in vitro, and animal model studies are used to investigate the role of the brain extracellular matrix in normal and pathological states. Current studies are aimed at testing hypotheses on abnormalities in molecular composition of the brain extracellular matrix organized structures and cell populations affected by these abnormalities.

Sabina also co-directs the HBTRC, a tissue repository currently funded by the NIH to collect brain samples from donors with a variety of brain disorders as well as healthy controls. The HBTRC also houses the Cohen Brain Collection, dedicated to collecting brain samples from donors with PTSD or TBI.

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