Brain Canada Brain Canada
FR Donate

Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank, an essential platform for brain research in Canada

Principal Investigator:
  • Gustavo Turecki, Douglas Hospital Research Centre
Team Members:
  • Naguib Mechawar, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Michael J. Meaney, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Guy Rouleau, Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute
  • Michael Kobor, University of British Columbia
  • Martin Alda, Dalhousie University
  • Paul R. Albert, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • Cathy Barr, Toronto Western Hospital
  • Darrell Mousseau, University of Saskatchewan
  • Satyabrata Kar, University of Alberta
  • Shimon Amir, Concordia University
  • Ana Andreazza, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Gilbert Bernier, Research Centre, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital
  • Diane Boivin, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Bernard Brais, Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute
  • Nicolas Cermakian, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Balu Chakravarthy, Carleton University
  • Cletus D’Souza, BC Cancer Agency
  • Salah El Mestikawy, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Carl Ernst, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Ken Evans, Queen's University
  • Harriet Feilotter, Queen's University
  • Nicolas Flamand, Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et Pneumologie de Quebec, Laval University
  • Cecilia Flores, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • David Fortin, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Edith Hamel, Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute
  • Michael R. Hayden, University of British Columbia
  • Sébastien Hébert, CHUQ Research Centre, Laval University
  • Martin Hirst, BC Cancer Agency
  • Jack Jhamandas, University of Alberta
  • Sidney H. Kennedy, University Health Network
  • Christine Lavoie, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Marco Marra, BC Cancer Agency
  • Anne McKinney, McGill University
  • Daniel Mueller, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Gerhard Multhaup, McGill University
  • Lisa Münter, McGill University
  • Art Petronis, University of Toronto/CAMH
  • Bruce Pike, Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute
  • Judes Poirier, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Alexandre Prat, CHUM Research Centre, University of Montréal
  • Rémi Quirion, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Pedro Rosa-Neto, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Xavier Roucou, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Elizabeth Simpson, University of British Columbia
  • Abbas Sadikot, Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute
  • Lalit Srivastava, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Moshe Szyf, McGill University
  • Derek van der Kooy, University of Toronto
  • Christine Vande Velde, Université de Montréal
  • Lan Xiong, CHUM Research Centre, University of Montréal
  • L. Trevor Young, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Douglas Mental Health University Institute Foundation
  • Douglas Hospital Research Centre
  • RQSHA

Project Overview

The Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank (DBCBB) houses and manages over 3,000 brains, as well as a large relational database containing demographic, clinical and developmental histories from the donors. The DBCBB is one of the rare brain banks in the world to collect brains from people who suffered from diverse mental disorders, including schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders, as well as brains from individuals who were affected with different neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias. In Canada, the DBCBB is the only resource to offer such a variety of well-characterized samples. The DBCBB receives a large number of tissue requests, and regularly sends samples to researchers around the world. Its uniqueness and importance to the international neuroscience community is attested by the more than 1,000 brain samples the bank staff dissects and ships yearly providing access to well-characterized human brain samples to many researchers in Canada and around the world.

Although the DBCBB has been in operation for over 30 years and provides high quality tissue to a large community of neuroscientists, its infrastructure is outdated. In particular, it lacks essential equipment to streamline its operations, which limits its capacity to render services more efficient and to reduce wait times to receive samples. The Platform grant will provide the necessary funds to purchase essential sample processing equipment, and to hire specialized personnel who will implement a new database and operating procedures that will significantly accelerate the preparation of human brain samples for research.