Professor Richard Reynolds - Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Tissue Bank
Richard Reynolds is Professor of Cellular Neurobiology at Imperial College London and heads an MS research group at the Hammersmith Hospital campus. He has been carrying out MS-related research for the last 30 years and his current research is designed to gain an understanding of the mechanisms involved in both neurodegeneration and repair processes in the brain in MS. This research led him to set up the MS Tissue Bank in 1998 so that the MS research community could have access to a supply of well characterised human brain tissue. Since then the MS Tissue Bank has grown into an international resource, supplying MS researchers around the world with valuable human tissues.
Professor Steve Gentleman - Director of the Parkinson’s UK Brain Bank
Steve Gentleman is Professor of Neuropathology in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London. Over the past 20 years he has run an active research team investigating the pathology of neurodegenerative disease and traumatic brain injury. In more recent years he has been part of a European consortium of neuropathologists who have been working to standardise the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. Using this expertise he provides diagnostic support for the Parkinson’s UK and Multiple Sclerosis Society Tissue Banks at Imperial and is a member of the Medical Research Council Brain Bank Network management committee. In addition to his research interests Steve has key teaching roles in the faculty of Medicine.
Dr George Gveric - Tissue Bank Manager
George has been the manager of the Tissue Bank since 2008. Before coming to Imperial he worked at the Institute of Neurology, London where he got involved with brain banking through the Institute's MS Society Tissue Bank. He was also part of a research group looking into the role of proteolytic enzymes in multiple sclerosis. George is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Tissue Bank, with a focus on tissue supply to researchers.
Mrs Sue Fordham - Tissue Bank Administrator
Sue joined the Multiple Sclerosis Tissue Bank as Administrator in 1999 and over the years her job has evolved as her knowledge and experience have increased. In July 2014 Sue took over the Parkinson’s and MS donor schemes. As an administrator, Sue is the nerve centre of the Brain Bank. She is the first point of contact for the queries and requests from potential donors and families. Sue deals with donor packs, registrations, amendments, paperwork, placing orders for office and laboratory supplies, as well as invoices from GPs, mortuaries and funeral directors.
Mr Ville Pitkaaho - Research Nurse
Ville joined the Brain Tissue Bank after working as a research nurse in the field of cancer treatment and research. He has over 5 years of experience in neurology and intensive care and has worked for major teaching hospitals both in the UK and his native Finland. He is now responsible for organising tissue retrievals, preparing clinical summaries and providing feedback to the next-of-kin and family on neuropathological findings. He will promote and organise donor recruitment to the tissue bank and focus on the new long term recruitment strategy of specific patient groups.
Tissue Bank Technicians
The technical team currently consists of five technicians who deal with all aspects of tissue banking:
- Miss Idil Ahmed
- Mr Guillermo Barinaga
- Mrs Louisa McGuinness
- Mr Nicholas Roberts
- Miss Martha Bond
Our on-call team is a foundation of our pledge to donors to make the Tissue Bank accessible every day of the year. A team of three people (one coordinator and two assistants) is always on-call to help with organising all aspects of tissue donation and preservation. Our current team consists of the following individuals:
- Coordinators: Professor Steve Gentleman, Dr George Gveric and Mr Ville Pitkaaho
- Assistants: Miss Idil Ahmed, Mr Guillermo Barinaga, Miss Martha Bond, Miss Laura Fuentes Font, Mr Marc Goldfinger, Mrs Louisa McGuinness, Mr Nicholas Roberts and Mr Ben Tilley
All parts of the operation of the Tissue Bank that require clinical neurology expertise receive input from a team of experts responsible for either the MS or Parkinson's side of the operation. We would like to acknowledge the neurologists who help the tissue bank by generating clinical summaries for donated tissue: Professor Lefkos Middleton, Dr Claudio Ruffman and Dr Richard Nicholas.
Neuropathological assessment of tissue is a cornerstone of our quality assurance and provides a valuable feedback to relatives of our donors. The Tissue Bank is indebted to neuropathologists without whose advice and expertise we would not be able to provide tissue for research: Dr Federico Roncaroli, Dr Ilaria Bravi, Professor Steve Gentleman, Professor Tamas Revesz, Professor Johannes Attems, Dr Robin Highley, Dr Laura Parkinnen, Professor Olaf Ansorge and Professor Bishan Radotra.