UF Neuromedicine Human Brain and Tissue Bank (UF HBTB)

Contact Information

Please contact our coordinator, Ericka Roush, if need more information or would like to begin setting up the process to have you or your loved one’s brain donated to science. You can contact her via email at eroush@ufl.edu or over the phone (352) 273-7425.

The UF HBTB is supported by MBI and CTRND and provides a resource for patients, caregivers and researchers to better understand neurological diseases. More information about brain donation can be found below. If you are a scientist looking to request tissue please click here.

Why consider brain donation?

Brain tissue donation is important for many reasons. Examining the brain after death is the only way to verify a clinical diagnosis of a neurodegenerative or memory disorder. Additionally, brain tissue provides valuable information to the scientists who work to understand these neurological diseases.

How can you help?

We hope that many people who understand the importance of research are able to help future research efforts by agreeing to donate their brain after they die. The generous gift of brain donation helps researchers to understand the disease changes and determine effectiveness of therapies on the disease process.This allows people to contribute for many years after their death.

Become a Donor

Enrolling into the brain bank program is easy to do and does not take an abundance of time. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Contact the study coordinator, Ericka Roush, either through email, eroush@ufl.edu, or phone, (352) 273-7436.
  2. Fill out Brain Bank Donation Summary Sheet with study coordinator.
  3. Make sure the donor, if able to, or the next of kin is able to sign all documents.
  4. Review documents with the coordinator and sign in the appropriate places.
  5. After all forms are completed, you and your family can be at ease knowing you have completed all documents necessary for brain donation.
  6. A soon as possible after death occurs, be sure to contact the study coordinator and complete the final form. The coordinator will instruct you as to where and how to return the form and navigate the additional steps required for brain donation.   

Eligibility

In order to participate you must be the following:

  • Individuals diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease or memory disorder
  • Healthy individuals with normal memory
  • 18 years of age or older

Supported Studies

In addition to the above mentioned general inclusion criteria, we support a variety of specific studies, including:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who may give consent/authorization? 

A. In most instances the patient can. Otherwise, the health care surrogate, next-of-kin or guardian is the person who makes the decision if the patient is deceased.

Q. Where is the brain donation performed?

A. If death occurs in a hospital, it may be performed in that facility. If death occurs elsewhere, other arrangements can be made such as the funeral home, crematorium or medical examiner’s office. 

Q. Can I have an open casket?

A. Yes. Donating brain tissue for diagnosis and research leaves no disfigurement and takes less than one hour.

Q. Will my relatives know the brain has been removed?

A. Only on close inspection would anyone know that a donation has occurred.

Q. What does it cost?

A. There are no costs to the family associated with the donation above and beyond what they make for their final arrangements.

Q: Is there a need for tissues other than the brain?

A: In most cases, only brain tissue is needed for pathological examination. In some cases, other tissues such as spinal cord, muscle or skin may be informative.

Q: Will brain tissue donation conflict with my religious beliefs?

A: The gift of donation enjoys broad support among many religions in the US. The decision to become a brain donor is a deeply personal one. We suggest consulting with your faith leader if you have questions about your religion and donation.

Our Team

Benoit Giasson
Department: MD-NEUROSCIENCE-GENERAL

Benoit Giasson

Professor, Graduate Co-Coordinator Neuroscience Graduate Program
Phone: (352) 273-9363
Karen McFarland
Department: MD-NEUROLOGY-MOVEMENT DISORDER

Karen McFarland

Research Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 273-9554
Jennifer Phillips
Department: MD-UFCTRND GENERAL

Jennifer Phillips

Biological Scientist I
Phone: (352) 294-5782
Stefan Prokop
Department: MD-PATHOLOGY-GENERAL

Stefan Prokop M.D.

AST PROF
Phone: (352) 294-5781
Ericka L Roush
Department: MD-UFCTRND GENERAL

Ericka L Roush

Clinical Research Coord I
Phone: (352) 273-7425
Qing-Shan Xue
Department: MD-UFCTRND GENERAL

Qing-Shan Xue

Medical Scientist III
Phone: (352) 273-7576

For Researchers

For Researchers

Request Tissues

If you're looking to request tissues, please follow the link below to the 1 Florida ADRC website. The use of ADRC biospecimens for research is subject to approval of an ancillary study proposal by the ADRC Biospecimen Committee and availability of the requested specimens. Investigators must have the approval of their local IRB and funding for the shipment and handling of specimens.

female researcher working at bench in the lab