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Archived tissue that would otherwise be unused has supported valuable research. The scale and scope of the tissue resource is unprecedented, with archives stretching back many decades. BRAIN UK is completely reliant on the co-operation and support of its Participating NHS Neuropathology Centres.  BRAIN UK now encompasses access to over 550,000 cases in more than 22 Participating Centres, with over 195,000 cases currently listed on our database. Below are some of the ways we are impacting neuroscience research:

Studies Supported

There has been a steady increase in the number of requests to BRAIN UK since its inception, reflecting the growing awareness of its value as a tissue resource amongst the neuroscience research community. To date there have been over 227 applications for samples from nearly 140 different users. The application process to BRAIN UK is much simpler than applying for individual project ethics and NIGB approval. Taking into account all of the studies that we have supported, this could represent a saving of over 130 months effort.


To date 172 eligible projects have submitted end of year reports. Of those that have been running for at least 12 months, more than 107 have produced around 136 publications and 68 abstracts. Nearly 230 presentations had been made, more than 114 posters displayed and around 72 grant applications have been successful - generating almost £15,450,000 income.

Illustration of BRAIN UK collaborations.  Note: London is made up of 5 Participating NHS Neuropathology Centres and collaborations between these and local Universities are not shown.
Some of the BRAIN UK collaborations.


The Participating Centres of BRAIN UK are NHS departments whereas the researchers are almost exclusively University staff, so almost all studies represent new collaborations between the NHS and University sectors.

To date there have been around 72 collaborations generated by applicants and Participating Centres working within the BRAIN UK network. Geographical spread is indicated in the map. Please note that ‘London’ is made up of 5 Participating NHS Neuropathology Centres and collaborations between these and local Universities are not illustrated.

Tissue Supplied

The total number of cases approved for use in BRAIN UK studies is more than 16,000. Some projects have required large numbers of tissues that have been required to be co-ordinated across multiple sites and others have required small numbers but of rare tissues that have been difficult to identify. Both our local R&D registrations and use of local contacts are utilised to save researchers time.


All data correct as of 04/01/2024.

Next update due January 2025.

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