Craig A. Stockmeier, PhDHuman Brain Collection Core Director
Core personnel (UMMC)
Core personnel (CWRU)
Despite the benefits of modern brain imaging in living patients and the numerous animal models of psychiatric illness, there will always be a significant need for the analysis of actual brain tissue postmortem. Studies on postmortem tissues can zero in on individual neurons and their helper cells, neuroglia, to assess cellular anatomic features, protein expression and interactions with processes from other individual nerve cells revealing information not attainable from living patients or animal models.
The CPN Human Brain Collection Core is directed by Dr. Craig A. Stockmeier, core leader. Dr. Stockmeier has extensive experience in the development and management of one of the leading postmortem human brain collections in the country devoted specifically to psychiatric neuroscience. The Human Brain Collection was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health from 1989-2007 and is funded by NCRR from 2007-12.. The brain collection is run in collaboration with the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and the Cuyahoga County Coroner Office, Cleveland. The psychiatric assessment team includes James C. Overholser, PhD, and George J. Jurjus, MD. Dr. Overholser, a clinical psychologist, has a long-standing career interest in depressive disorders in adolescents and adults. Dr. Jurjus, director of Inpatient Psychiatry and Detoxification at Cleveland Wade Park VA Hospital, has been part of the retrospective diagnostic team since 1997 and provides additional expertise in psychoactive substance use disorders. Dr. Stockmeier and his collaborators organize all aspects of the brain collection, including storage of tissue samples and accompanying clinical information. CPN project principal investigators are provided with high-quality postmortem human brain samples meeting inclusion criteria for their research aims involving psychiatric illnesses, as well as the critical supporting information for the brain tissue. Dr. Stockmeier further advises CPN investigators in the selection and matching of appropriate control and psychiatric subjects for their biological studies. A highly secure, centralized electronic database is maintained for the brain collection. The database permits searches for specific criteria within the vast amount of data accumulated for each individual case. The database allows authorized users to conduct a query on any combination of the 237 fields of data associated with each individual case, producing a sub-set of cases based on the search criteria. The search results can then be easily exported to a file for further manipulation by external data analysis programs such as SPSS or Microsoft Excel. The brain collection database is a powerful tool for research studies utilizing post-mortem brain tissue provided by the Human Brain Collection Core.
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