Scientific expertises within BNE

Expertise and research competencies available at BNE centres are as follows:

Brain Banking

  • MRI guided tissue sampling
  • Microdissection
  • Handling of high risk brain tissue samples


  • Refined neuropathological diagnosis
  • Tissue Microarray
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • PET blots
  • Immunofluorescence
  • In situ hybridisation
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Electron microscopy
  • Image analysis
  • Morphometry
  • Stereology

Cell fractionation 

Molecular genetics

  • DNA extraction (from frozen and formaldeyde fixed material)
  • RNA extraction
  • Northern blots
  • PCR and real time PCR


  • Protein extraction
  • Peptide and protein purification
  • Western blots
  • 2D gel electrophoresis
  • Mass spectrometry




Centre Disease Expertise
Amsterdam Neurodegeneration, dementia, multiple sclerosis, psychiatric disorders & healthy controls Rapid autopsy, dissection of fresh non-fixed brain tissue, MRI guided dissection of multiple sclerosis brains, national donor programme
Athens Prion diseases, perinatal pathology General pathology, rapid processing of high risk tissue, image analysis
Barcelona Neurodegenerative diseases including prion diseases Neuropathology, immunohistochemistry, immuno-fluorescence, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, Western blot, RNA extraction, real time PCR, cell subfractionation, antibody arrays, immunoprecipitation, 2D gel electrophoresis, enzymatic assays, DNA microarrays, high risk lab
Bologna Prion diseases General pathology, proteomics, molecular genetics including analyses of polymorphisms
Budapest HBTB Control brains, neurodegenerative diseases Rapid autopsies, macro- and microdissection of brain samples
Edinburgh HIV/AIDS, prion disorders, sudden deaths, drug abuse, psychiatric diseases & healthy controls High risk brain banking, amplified immunocytochemistry, image analysis, in-situ hybridization
Goettingen Multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disease, prion disorders DNA extraction from formalin fixed material
Huddinge Neurodegeneration and dementia Morphometry, stereology, rapid autopsy, collection of cerebrospinal fluid
Kuopio Neurodegenerative disorders, age related control brains Immunohistochemistry, in-situ hybridization, tissue microarrays, affiliation to departments with proteomics, genetics & molecular biology
London, Kings College Motoneuron diseases, movement disorders Image analysis
London, Imperial College Multiple sclerosis,
Parkinson's disease
Donor programs, rapid autopsies
London, UCL

Parkinson’s disease and other parkinsonian disorders (including progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, postencephalitic parkinsonism, dystonias), frontotemporal dementias, spinocerebellar ataxias

Clinicopathological correlations, genetics of neurological disorders, molecular mechanisms underlying tauopathies

Lyon Prion disorders and other neurodegenerative diseases Immunohistochemistry, Western blot, processing
Milan Prion disorders and other  neurodegenerativedisease, brain tumours Morphology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, peptides and protein purification, DNA extraction & sequencing
Munich Prion diseases and other
neurodegenerative diseases
Proteomics, electrophysiology, confocal microscopy, two photon microscopy
Paris Prion disease, HIV/AIDS Western blotting (PrP, tau), image analysis (macro- & micro morphometry)
Vienna Prion disease, HIV/AIDS, control brains (mainly paraffin tissue) Routine diagnosis, immunohisto-chemistry, confocal, PET blot, genetics, EM, western blot, high risk lab
Wuerzburg Motoneuron diseases with or without dementia, addiction Rapid autopsy, neurochemistry

Training Opportunities

It is important not to neglect the basic skills required in brain banks such as high quality histology and immunohistochemistry. Most of the brain banks are able to offer training in their expert methodologies for other members of BNEII in the first instance. It is planned to organise trainings also for scientists outside BNE in the future. See more about special expertise and research competencies currently available at the BrainNet Europe member sites here.


Copyright (c) BrainNet Europe, coordinated by the Centre for Neuropathology and Prion Research, Ludwig- Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. Tel.: +49-89-2180-78001