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Mission Statement

Decades-old material now available for de novo research
MacBrainResource (MBR) mission is to provide a cost-effective means for researchers to conduct de novo studies on the non-human primate (NHP) brain using materials already in existence and therefore, without exorbitant costs and without having to sacrifice additional animals. MBR is highly dynamic and constantly growing as materials are restored, processed, inventoried, catalogued and added to the different collections. At its creation, in 2017, five distinct collections of macaque brain tissue were made available to investigators worldwide. In 2021 Collections 6 and 7 were introduced. MBR’s goal is to facilitate primate research by enabling neuroscience researchers to access all available materials either on-site or via the web for use in their own research programs.

Research on the NHP brain is critical to understanding human brain development, architecture, connectivity, and disease. In addition to growing public concern about animal use, NHP research has become exponentially more difficult, among other, because of the skyrocketing costs of procurement, housing, veterinary care, and the time and effort to comply with institutional regulatory guidelines. The materials in the different collections of MBR help alleviate these obstacles and foster wider sharing of resources while decreasing the number of macaques used in research.

Study of pre- and postnatal development in the NHP is particularly challenging as it requires a breeding colony and specialized facilities to accommodate pregnant, infant, and juvenile NHPs. Drs. Pasko Rakic and Patricia Goldman-Rakic, while in the Department of Neuroscience at Yale, established one of a few NHP breeding colonies in the world. In their long and productive careers, they produced an immense collection of slides and plastic EM embedded blocks derived from their studies. These materials constitute collections 1 through 5. More recently, the work of Dr. Alvaro Duque, in the Rakic laboratory, has produced the seeds for collections 6 and 7 to grow. Given the vast resources that were required to generate all these different materials, any duplication today would be very difficult, if not impossible, and prohibitively expensive. Hence, given the daunting challenges faced by primate researchers, the mission of MBR is particularly important and timely.