Brain Storming session in Neurobiology

The first Human Brain Tissue Repository (HBTR) in India had its origin in 1985 following “Brain Storming session in Neurobiology” held at NIMHANS. The brain storming session on Neurobiology was conducted in October 1985, participated by most of the scientists in various fields in Biology and physical sciences related to study of nervous system, a multi-disciplinary scientific interaction. It was to take a stock of the work being carried out in India and identify the thrust areas relevant to India and other tropical countries, that needs to be pursued with vigour.

During the deliberations it was realized that majority of the studies were carried out on experimental animals and extrapolated to human system. It has dawned to the neuroscientists that efforts have to be directed to study human material for realistic evaluation of the biological process in human system, and hence the need for a Human Brain Bank, a National Research Facility.

Bio Banking

Through persistent efforts of Prof.P.N.Tandon, an eminent Neurosurgeon and a clinical neuroscientist, the Human Brian Bank was established as a National Research Facility in 1995.

As the very concept of a “Bio-banking” was new to the neurologists and neurosurgeons in the country, a mammoth effort was needed to convince the need for the Human Brain Bank for India, as a valuable resource for research on human brain.


Inauguration by Shri PGR Sindhia erstwhile Home Minister, Govt of Karnataka 21st March 1995 in the presence of Dr. SM Channabasavanna (Director/Vice-Chancellor NIMHANS) and Dr SK Shankar (Principal Co-ordinator) of human Brain Bank

Formative Years

The Human Brain Bank was initially located in a room allotted in the Animal House (the kitchen space), with facility to keep five deep freezers (-80oC) and minimal histology equipment.

For the first five years (1995-2000), this National Research Facility was collectively funded by the Dept of Science and Technology (DST), Dept of Biotechnology (DBT) and Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

Strong Footing

Subsequently from March 2000, as committed earlier, the facility is maintained by NIMHANS allotting a fixed amount of funding of Rs.30 lakhs / year from the Institute’s Plan Budget.

Human Brain Tissue Repository has archived human brain, brain biopsies, serum and CSF samples from various neurological and psychiatric disorders collected with informed written consent of the close relatives, to utilise the tissues for research purposes maintaining the confidentiality of the donor. From the inception, the Human Brain Bank has made significant contribution to neuroscience research in India.

New Block – Human Brain Bank

To facilitate additional space and facilities, the Human Brain Bank was shifted to Neurobiology Research Centre, Room No.004.

It was formally inaugurated by Ms.Sujaya Krishnan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India on 2nd July, 2012 in presence of Dr.Satishchandra  & Dr. S K Shankar, Principal Co-ordinator and Former Director, NIMHANS.

The funding for the Human Brain Tissue Repository to a tune of Rs.30 lakhs per year continued to be provided by NIMHANS administration from the Plan Budget.