Obtaining Tissue from the NeuroBioBank

Requests for tissue and associated clinical data must be made through the NeuroBioBank website, and will be reviewed by NIH Neurobiobank (NBB) and Brain Tissue Repository (BTR) staff in the order that they are received.

Requests for tissue must come from an institution that has an active Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP). If you are uncertain of the FWA number for your institution, you can locate it through ORHP's website. If your institution does not currently have an FWA, guidance for filing one is provided by DHHS.

The process for obtaining tissue from the NBB is as follows.

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Browse the NeuroBioBank inventory

Frequently Asked Questions

Who may submit a tissue request?

Any investigator working for an Institution with an active Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) on file with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). FWA numbers for institutions can be searched for at http://ohrp.cit.nih.gov/search/fwasearch.aspx?styp=bsc. If an FWA does not exist for a specific institution guidance on requesting an FWA can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/register-irbs-and-obtain-fwas/fwas/file-a-new-fwa/index.html.

What is required of me after I have received the tissue from NBB?

Recipients of NBB tissue shall submit a progress report upon publication, completion of the research using the tissue or within one-year of receipt of the tissue. If publication occurs after the initial progress report is submitted to NBB the requestor is expected to follow up with NBB to indicate that a publication is available.

I am applying for a grant, how may I request tissues for my proposed research?

We encourage grant applicants to submit a request with details of your proposed research through NBB. The brain bank directors and NIH staff will review this, and may provide feedback. If evidence of funding is provided and the samples are available, they will be shipped at the requestor's expense. If funding is pending, and the request is approved in principle, the NBB can provide a letter of support if needed.

Are there any costs for receiving NeuroBioBank tissues?

The only expense the requestor or receiving lab will be expected to cover is the cost for shipping samples. If your tissue request is approved, you will be asked to provide this shipping information.

Who is responsible for signing the Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)?

Authority to sign MTAs on behalf of the RECIPIENT ORGANIZATION is highly variable. In most cases, Principal Investigators and their staff do not have the signatory authority to legally bind their Institution in Material Transfer Agreements. Please ensure that your MTA is signed by the RECIPIENT SCIENTIST as well as the appropriate Authorized Official prior to submitting your tissue request to the NBB. For most academic institutions, the "Authorized Official" will be a representative from the Technology Transfer Office. The "Recipient Scientist" will be the requestor or the Principal Investigator. Please contact the NBB with any further questions.

When is the MTA effective? For how long?

The MTA is effective for 1 year after it has been electronically countersigned by the NIH Authorized Official. The contact information is available on the MTA template.

How can I obtain a copy of the MTA agreement after it is signed by the NBB?

The NBB approved/signed MTA will be available via the "Documents" tab of the request. It is the responsibility of the Requestor/Investigator to download the NBB signed MTA and provide it to requesting institution officials as necessary.

What should I do if my institution needs to make changes to the standard NBB MTA?

The NBB standard MTA should be used, as is, unless it is absolutely necessary to make minor changes. In the event that minor changes are required please email the NBB and request an editable copy of the NBB standard MTA. Please note that making changes to the standard MTA will lengthen the request process.

What Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) oversee the NeuroBioBank Brain and Tissue Repositories?

  IRB Protocol Number IRB Title
University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank 19920358 (CR0001775) University of Miami Institutional Review Board Brain Endowment Bank
University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank HM-HP-00042077 The University of Maryland Institutional Review Board University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank
5-58 The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene IRB University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank
Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center 2015P002028 Partners Human Research Committee Brain Tissue Repository for Research on Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
The Human Brain and Spinal Fluid Resource Center (managed by Sepulveda Research Corporation) PCC#: 2015-060672
VA Project #: 0002
Department of Veterans Affairs – Los Angeles NIH Brain and Tissue Repository - California
Mt. Sinai Brain Bank HAR-13-059 Bronx VA Medical Center Institutional Review Board The NIMH, NICHD, NINDS Brain and Tissue Repository
Brain Tissue Donation Program at the University of Pittsburgh REN14120157/IRB981146 University of Pittsburgh Institutional Review Board University of Pittsburgh NIMH, NICHD, NINDS Brain and Tissue Repository

How do I find my NeuroBioBank account username?

Usernames can be retrieved here.

How can I reset my NBB account password?

Passwords can be reset here. If you are still unable to login after resetting your password, please send a request for assistance to neurobiobank@imsweb.com.