Dr Claire Shepherd in Brain Bank lab

Sydney Brain Bank


The objective of the Sydney Brain Bank, based at Neuroscience Research Australia, is to provide a research resource facility for the-

Our primary focus is on various neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and also unaffected people. Neurodegenerative disorders have a huge personal impact in addition to being an increasing economic burden to individuals and the community.

There are currently no treatments for many of these disorders, and only symptomatic treatment for some. Researchers in Australia and overseas interested in investigating areas such as basic disease mechanisms, earlier and more accurate diagnosis, genetic contributions to diseases, better treatments, and ultimately, cure and prevention, can request this tissue for their research studies.

To be successful in our goals, we rely on the generosity and altruism of people who donate their brains for research and also the scientists who request the tissue seeking to alleviate the suffering that neurodegenerative diseases cause.

Staff Members

Dr Claire Shepherd
Professor Glenda Halliday
Dr Andrew McGeachie
Heather McCann
Andrew Affleck
Carla Scicluna
Francine Carew-Jones

See what’s going on at NeuRA


Caress the Detail: A Comprehensive MRI Atlas of the in Vivo Human Brain

This project aims to deliver the most comprehensive, detailed and stereotaxically accurate MRI atlas of the canonical human brain. In human neuroscience, researchers and clinicians almost always investigate images obtained from living individuals. Yet, there is no satisfactory MRI atlas of the human brain in vivo or post-mortem. There are some population-based atlases, which valiantly solve a number of problems, but they fail to address major needs. Most problematically, they segment only a small number of brain structures, typically about 50, and they are of limited value for the interpretation of a single subject/patient. In contrast to population-based approaches, the present project will investigate normal, living subjects in detail. We aim to define approximately 800 structures, as in the histological atlas of Mai, Majtanik and Paxinos (2016), and, thus, provide a “gold standard” for science and clinical practice. We will do this by obtaining high-resolution MRI at 3T and 7T of twelve subjects through a collaboration with Markus Barth from the Centre for Advanced Imaging at the University of Queensland (UQ). The limited number of subjects will allow us to image each for longer periods, obtaining higher resolution and contrast, and to invest the required time to produce unprecedented detail in segmentation. We will produce an electronic atlas for interpreting MR images, both as a tablet application and as an online web service. The tablet application will provide a convenient and powerful exegesis of brain anatomy for researchers and clinicians. The open access web service will additionally provide images, segmentation and anatomical templates to be used with most common MR-analysis packages (e.g., SPM, FSL, MINC, BrainVoyager). This will be hosted in collaboration with UQ, supporting and complementing their population-based atlas.