Skip to main content

Sponsors and Partners

Supporting organizations make the Brain Bank possible.

The University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank requires financial support to provide the personnel and infrastructure necessary to fulfill its mission. We also rely heavily on many organizations to help identify and recruit potential tissue donors and to facilitate the collection of precious tissue and biopsy samples. We are grateful for these supporting organizations and partnerships, and pleased that we can contribute to the fulfillment of their missions as well.


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank is supported by a contract (271201400045C-6-0-1) with the NIH though the following organizations. 

Support is provided to the Bank as part of the NIH NeuroBioBank (click the "Partners" tab above to learn more).

The Blazeman Foundation for ALS

The Blazeman Foundation for ALS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is a family foundation that serves to carry out the vision of its namesake and founder, the late Jonathan "Blazeman" Blais. Jon was an elite athlete and multi-sport competitor when diagnosed with ALS at the age of 33. He spent the remainder of his life fighting for ALS research and awareness.

The mission of the Blazeman Foundation for ALS is 1) to raise awareness about ALS by leveraging the energy, commitment and compassion of the multi-sport community and 2) to raise necessary funds to be directed into cutting-edge scientific research to find treatments and an eventual cure for ALS…"So Others May Live.®" The Blazeman Foundation for ALS provides generous financial support to aid in the recruitment tissue donors with ALS and in the recovery, storage, and distribution of ALS brain and nerve tissue.


NIH NeuroBioBank

The NIH NeuroBioBank is a consortium of six brain banks funded by and operating administrative and digital support from the NIH. It facilitates scientific discovery through the centralization of resources aimed at the collection and distribution of human post-mortem brain tissue. The NeuroBioBank website serves as the central location for all investigator-initiated tissue sample requests. The six banks operating under the umbrella of the NeuroBioBank include:

Brain Donor Project

The Brain Donor Project was founded to increase brain donation to advance science leading to the treatment and cure of neurological, neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. It works to increase awareness of post-mortem human brain donation and facilitates pre-registration of potential donors in concert with the NeuroBioBank.

National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI)

NDRI operates to provide human biospecimens worldwide to advance biomedical / bioscience research and development, and to support education in the life sciences. It works directly with researchers and tissue recovery partners to provide invaluable human tissue samples to investigators working on specific diseases and disorders.

Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)

The OCME in Baltimore is the statewide agency designated by law to investigate deaths from injury, homicide, suicide, or when a person is not attended by a physician, in addition to deaths occurring under unusual or suspicious circumstances. The OCME works directly with the University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank to identify appropriate cases and to retrieve brain, nerve, and systemic tissue from donors for inclusion in the Bank.

American SIDS Institute

The American SIDS Institute is a national nonprofit health care organization dedicated to the prevention of sudden infant death and the promotion of infant health through comprehensive nationwide program research, education, and family support. The UMB Brain and Tissue Bank participates in the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) Tissue Consortium. The SUID Tissue Consortium, operating under the direction of Dr. Betty McEntire at The American SIDS Institute works with medical examiners to obtain brain tissue from unexpected childhood death cases and SUID cases for referral to the Brain and Tissue Bank.

International Concussion and Head Injury Research Foundation (ICHIRF)

The ICHIRF is part of a multi-centered, multi-sport, longitudinal study on retired athletes and is the largest research project of its kind in the world. Its research is focused on both the immediate diagnosis of concussion and the long-term effects that may only become apparent years later. The University of Maryland Brain and Tissue Bank is currently working with the ICHIRF to assist in the pre-registration and donation of post-mortem brains from retired horse jockeys in the United States to contribute to an international study on brain physiology and concussions in this groups of athletes.