If you are a qualified scientist, with approval from your institutional review board for the utilization of human tissues or fluids in your research, you may request specimens from our resource. We will ship specimens nationally and internationally as customs permit. Please use the buttons below for descriptions of our resource, and detailed instructions on how to make a request. Upon receipt and review of the required forms, the MHBB will contact you regarding your request, to assist in maximizing the utilization of this resource and assuring the best outcome for the application of human specimens in your research.

MHBB Resource

The Manhattan HIV Brain Bank (MHBB) is a research resource funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. The MHBB conducts a longitudinal, observational study of an advanced HIV and/or HCV-infected cohort, whose members agree to be organ donors upon demise. Longitudinal clinical evaluations include in depth neurologic, neuropscyhologic, and psychiatric assessments, viral load tests and CD4 enumerations, and a brief battery of standard laboratories. Patients donate blood and urine, and undergo optional lumbar punctures at 6 month intervals (approximately 2/3 of the cohort consent to LP). At autopsy, a wide spectrum of tissues are donated, with extensive evaluation of nervous system components. Tissues are available both in fixed and frozen formats, and unstained slides or tissue scrolls in microfuge tubes will be provided upon request. Tissues, fluids, and de-identified clinical data are available free of charge to all qualified researchers who meet scientific and regulatory requirements.

To date, the MHBB has enrolled 497 individuals, with tissues available from 221, and over 7,000 fluid specimens. We encourage initial contact with us prior to filing an application, to be sure that our resource can accommodate your study design. If we do not have the materials necessary for your research, we will attempt to direct you to suitable resources. Please feel free to contact the study PI to discus your research requirements.

Requesting Specimens

In order to evaluate your request to receive specimens, the MHBB requires that you provide the following information:

  1. Provide a completed Request for Specimen Form.
  2. Provide a list of approved grant support for your research program (i.e., Federal grant number,foundation or other private support, or identify current collaboration or mentor-trainee affiliations). Provide confirmation/assurance of your institution's IRB approval.
  3. Provide an abstract or a list of specific aims that clearly describes the project for which you will use human tissues or fluids.
  4. Provide a copy of your curriculum vitae or NIH biosketch.
  5. Read and sign the Human Specimen Handling Risks & Safety Precautions Statement. This will acknowledge your responsibility in understanding of and adherence to appropriate safety standards for the protection of yourself and other laboratory personnel under your supervision while handling human tissues.
  6. Read and sign the Human Specimen Single User Agreement. This will acknowledge your responsibility in not distributing any portion of the tissue or fluid disbursement to colleagues or other investigators, and that all such inquiries will be directed to the Consortium.
  7. Read and sign the Consortium Acknowledgment Agreement. This will indicate that you have agreed to provide specific acknowledgment of the MHBB and its federal grant number in any publications related to the use of these tissues. This agreement is on the same form as the human specimen single user agreement.
  8. Read and sign the Commercial Use Agreement. The MHBB, as a general rule, does not permit the use of its materials for commercial purposes.

All requests undergo a review process in order they are received. Upon approval, the requested samples will be shipped to your laboratory as such specimens become available. The MHBB charges no fee for providing this service. The cost for shipping, however, will be assumed by the recipient. The specimens will be shipped by Federal Express, and it is required that you provide us with your FedEx account number.

Please feel free to contact us regarding the status of your request or with any other questions you may have. The MHBB is pleased to be able to provide this specialized service to help facilitate your research program.


Related Resources