ABC Policy for the Use of Postmortem Tissue
The Alabama Brain Collection (ABC) was developed at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), to be a resource in promoting brain tissue research in schizophrenia and related mental disorders. The ABC is a limited resource that is labor and resource intensive. A strong emphasis is placed on high quality clinical information and tissue. We encourage Neuroscientists and Psychiatrists throughout the world to become collaborators in the use of this tissue. The following guidelines and stipulations are intended to ensure optimal use of this resource, and to establish mutually beneficial collaborations with University of Alabama, Birmingham scientists.
- All applications for tissue from the Alabama Brain Collection are reviewed by the ABC Steering Committee (ABCSC). The disbursed tissue is for the exclusive use of the applicant and may not be shared with other researchers. The tissue may only be used in the approved experiments described in the application for tissue. It may not be used in collaboration with commercial entities. Any additional use must have written ABC approval.
- Requests for tissue must be based on an explicitly stated scientific hypothesis. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the proposed science with an ABCSC member prior to submission.
- Requests for tissue to be used in grant applications must be received at least six weeks prior to the submission deadline. A budget for the ABC must be included in the application. The ABCSC will provide assistance in preparing the budget request. The ABC budget for funded grants that have had nonspecific budget reductions imposed must reflect the overall budget reduction (ie, a 10% total budget reduction would mean a 10% ABC budget reduction).
- Requests may be declined for reasons not reflecting scientific merit, and all decisions are up to the discretion of the ABCSC.
- The ABC disburses coded tissue only. In the spirit of a true collaboration, data analysis is performed using mutually agreed upon procedures. All data must be kept confidential and are not to be released to third parties without the explicit approval of all parties involved.
- Authorship and acknowledgement issues need to be discussed in advance with the ABCSC prior to presentations and submissions of abstracts and manuscripts. The work involved in the acquisition and processing of donor tissue, and the validation of clinical data from these cases are critical to the scientific projects. This is our foundation for collaboration. The ABC participates actively in analysis and reporting of data related to disbursed tissue.
- The Alabama Organ Center screens tissue for certain infectious diseases (such as HIV, and hepatitis B) prior to disbursement to the ABC. However, all tissue must be handled using appropriate Universal Precautions and treated as if it were infectious.
- All users of ABC tissue must secure IRB approval from their institution prior to any tissue disbursement. If necessary, the ABC will provide assistance to facilitate this process.
- All unused ABC tissue must be returned to the ABC at the end of the experiment.
The above policies enable the Alabama Brain Collection to meet obligations to the University of Alabama, Birmingham and the Alabama Organ Center, thus protecting established collaborations and assuring appropriate scientific involvement in selected projects.