Human Tissue Bank

Collecting tissue samples in the operating room

Dr. Q's team collects tissues from patients for the tissue bank, which can be used to study the behavior of cancer cells.

To advance its efforts to further understand brain cancer, adult neurogenesis and the organization and function of the human subventricular zone, the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Research Laboratory created and maintains a human tissue bank.

The bank consists of cancerous and noncancerous specimens from adult and pediatric patients that would otherwise be discarded after operations, human mesenchymal stem cells, cerebrospinal fluid, astrocytes, and a bank of postmortem brain tissue. So far, more than 2,000 intraoperative specimens have been collected. Every patient who donates to this bank in essence becomes part of history to find a cure.

Using human tissue collected from patients is the closest scientists can come to performing in vivo experiments in humans. Maintaining the tissue bank is absolutely essential for use in all of the lab's experiments and for multiple active collaborations with many colleagues at Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, and across the nation and the globe. The tissue bank drives the lab's investigations of human cancer in human tissue and the lab's project to create animal models that serve as human avatars.

Collecting intraoperative samples and maintaining the tissue bank allows Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa's research team to preserve tissue and cell cultures to use for present and future experiments. The team turns the cell cultures into established cell lines for use in the laboratory and by collaborators.

Project team

The Human Tissue Bank is a joint concerted team effort by all lab members. Every researcher in the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Research Lab maintains a tissue bank pertaining to his or her projects, and the effort is streamlined and replicated across the laboratory. Over the course of Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa's research, more than 300 team members have helped with this effort in giving patients hope.