Tissue & Cell Collections

Brain Tissue Resources

Harvard Brain Bank Tissue Resource Center

Watch this video from the HBTRC

The Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (HBTRC) has fresh frozen and formalin fixed tissues of brain samples from over 90 Rett brains banked by Rettsyndrome.org.

The HBTRC can provide researchers with: frozen or fixed brain samples, quality control measures, demographic information, and neuropathology.

Please submit any tissues requests through the NIH NeuroBioBank portal at https://neurobiobank.nih/gov/

All tissue requests for samples from Rett syndrome brain donors will be sent to Rettsyndrome.org for approval.

Contacts at HBTRC:
Sabina Berretta, MD, Scientific Director: s.beretta@mclean.harvard.edu
Wilson TS Woo, MD, PhD, Medical Director: wwoo@mclean.harvard.edu

Contacts at Rettsyndrome.org:
Steven Kaminsky, PhD, Chief Science Officer: skaminsky@rettsyndrome.org



The University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank


The mission of the UMB BTB is to advance the research of developmental, neurological and movement disorders. The objective of this human tissue repository is to systematically collect, store, and distribute brain and other tissues for research dedicated to the improved understanding, care and treatment of individuals with these disorders.

The UMB BTB has extensive experience in arranging for the rapid retrieval of tissue upon the death of individuals while at home, in hospitals or hospice care. The Bank is able to assist researchers who are working with patients who intend to donate tissues at the time of their death.


Cell Collections


Coriell Cell Repository catalogs blood and tissue samples and makes them available to investigators worldwide. Rettsyndrome.org seeks to expand the RTT blood/tissue collection at Coriell.

Coriell presents "How to Submit Samples/Benefits of Submitting Samples" – a YouTube video targeted to our Rett researcher community. 

Click here for information about Donating to the NIGMS Repository. 

Contact Tara Schmidlen, MS CGC at: tschmidl@coriell.org or 856-757-4822.


National Human Neural Stem Cell Resource (NHNSCR) drives national research in the field of neural stem cells by providing a reliable resource for these cells to investigators nationwide. 

Neural stem cells in the Resource are acquired from several central nervous system sources and represent controls and genetic mutations. This is of utmost importance as the field of neural stem cells has applicability to such diverse areas as:

  1. increasing our understanding of the basic mechanisms involved in the development of the nervous system from a few cells to the extremely complex final product that is the human brain;
  2. increasing our understanding of the effects of genetic disease on the structure and function of the nervous system;
  3. providing tools by which new drugs that can be used to treat diseases of the nervous system can be designed; and
  4. providing a cell population that could potentially be used to treat such nervous system diseases as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, seizure disorders, stroke, Parkinson's disease, and others that traditionally have been thought to be untreatable to any significant extent.

NHNSCR provides to the research community neural stem cells harvested from the post-natal, post-mortem, human brain.

The Resource encourages investigators to study these cells as potential transplantable tissue for the repair of injury such as that sustained during traumatic brain injury or stroke, for the repair of pathological processes such as those seen in the neurogenetic diseases Hurler’s disease or Leigh's disease, or for repair of neurodegenerative processes such those seen in Parkinson's or Alzheimer Diseases.

In addition, the cells should be used for the detailed study of mechanisms of neural differentiation and transdifferentiation and the genetic and environmental signals that direct the specialization of the cells into particular cell types.

Dr. Philip Schwartz , Director of the NHNSCR, welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with investigators from other institutions. The current focus of his research is on the banking and characterization of neural stem cells harvested from postmortem human brain, particularly those from children and adults with neurogenetic disease. Please contact him for more information or contact the Children’s Hospital of Orange County’s 24-hour CHOC line: 714-997-3000. 

Rettsyndrome.org encourages investigators to share reagents. If you have an animal model, expression plasmid, antibodies, permanent cell lines, assay or other reagent you would like to make available to the Rett scientific community please contact research@rettsyndrome.org.