University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank is the only NIH NeuroBioBank members that supports research pertaining to disorders in children of all ages

The University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank (UMB BTB) is an NIH-funded tissue repository established to meet the need for human tissue in medical research related to neurologic diseases. To fulfill its mission, UMB BTB systematically collects, stores and distributes brain and other tissue for research dedicated to the improved understanding, care and treatment of individuals with developmental, neurological and movement disorders.

UMB BTB is one of six banks established throughout the United States that collectively make up the NIH NeuroBioBank. However, UMBTB is unique among the other NeuroBioBank members. While the NeuroBioBank supports research into neurologic, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disease, UMB BTB also supports research pertaining to neuro, muscular, and psychologic disorders in children of all ages.

Donors, either directly or through their next-of-kin, register with UMB BTB and this registration can occur pre- or post-mortem. UMB BTB staff obtains consent for tissue donation using an Institutional Review Board-approved process. UMB BTB then makes all necessary arrangements for the transport of the donor and the collection of the brain and other tissues at no cost to the donor's family.

Tissue Collection

One hemisphere of the brain is fixed in formalin and the other is frozen to support various research interests. Tissues are cut into defined regions, catalogued and stored. Donor tissues are supported by the collection of medical records, toxicology, serology, and, when appropriate, an autopsy report. Quality control on purified RNA and DNA is performed on all cases. All cases are also evaluated for brain neuropathology through the use of chemical and immunohistological stains for microscopic evaluation.

All information is organized in a digital database to facilitate the monitoring of inventory, the identification of requested tissues, and distribution of relevant documents to interested investigators. Researchers can search a digital database and select cases and tissues based on numerous variables.

UMB BTB staff supplies the requested tissue at no cost to the researcher other than shipping. All personal identifying information of the donors is redacted to protect the donor's privacy. UMB BTB also accepts tissue from donors of all ages including newborns and infants. Each year the bank ships over 5000 tissue samples to researchers throughout the United States and the world.

For more information on how to make a donation or request a sample, visit