University of Auckland Centre For Brain Research



Further $1.3 Million to University of Auckland Centre for Brain Research

This renewed partnership is to continue the development of the centre’s now 5 year old CBR Biobank. A centre that houses human cells and tissue from patients with brain disorders for research into brain disease. This is the first brain-oriented Biobank in the country. The aim of this research is to discover new methods of diagnosis and treatment for patients who suffer from a wide range of brain disorders. The centre focuses on conditions including stokes, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. The foundation’s motivation for funding the biobank comes from a belief that medical research related to the brain has the potential to help solve mysteries of so many medical conditions, which affect people every day.


From the University website:


Expanding on the internationally recognised Neurological Foundation Human Brain Bank, the new multi-tissue Biobank provides human tissues and cells in conjunction with clinical, neurophysiological and brain imaging information, for expanded lab-based research on human brain disease. The Biobank secures and significantly expands the human brain tissue and cell bank resources, and encompasses other human tissues (e.g. blood, serum, blood cells, skin fibroblasts, muscle biopsies) for research and diagnostic purposes into human brain disorders.

The storage facilities are located in the fifth floor laboratories of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Grafton Campus, forming an integral part of the human brain research programme. There is good evidence that peripheral cells and tissues of people with brain diseases show abnormalities which are specific to these diseases, so being able to study these changes means that our scientists can validate the peripheral cell changes and understand better the mechanisms underlying the brain diseases.

Potential applications of the Biobank include:

  • Improving early and accurate diagnosis of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease through the research identification of specific biomarkers for each disease
  • Research to identify predictors of brain disease in order to apply new treatments to prevent the onset of brain disease
  • Opportunities for intervention at the very earliest stage of the disease
  • Monitoring and understanding the progression of brain disease during life with long-term widespread studies, in diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
  • Capability to directly test new drug treatments on diseased cells to fast-track drug development from the lab to the patient
  • Identification of new treatment opportunities to slow down disease progression to give a higher quality of life for people affected by brain disease
  • Early safety testing of new drugs and therapies on human cells