MS Society Tissue Bank

Professor Richard Nicholas

Imperial College London


In this video, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Tissue Bank Professor Richard Reynolds talks about the work the Tissue Bank does and how donors make a difference. Professor Reynolds, who was the Director of the Tissue Bank from its conception in 1998, has recently handed over the helm to Professor Richard Nicholas.

About the project

The MS Society Tissue Bank allows people to donate their brain and spinal cord tissue for MS research after their death. It's a vital resource, with donated tissue helping scientists around the world advance our understanding of MS.

We have supported the tissue bank since 1998. Since then, it has provided tens of thousands of tissue samples to hundreds of research projects.

The tissue bank allows researchers to answer questions that can only be addressed using tissue from people with MS, such as:

  • What cells and molecules are present in the human brain?
  • Are those cells and molecules responsible for the damage seen in MS?
  • Are they useful for repairing the damage instead?

We fund the tissue bank in partnership with Imperial College London and Parkinson’s UK. Through our investment, Professor Richard Reynolds and his team are able to support the global MS research community.

How will it help people with MS?

Research using human tissue samples is vital to efforts to find new effective treatments. MS is a uniquely human condition, and to understand its causes and development, researchers need to look at how it affects the human brain.

The MS Society Tissue Bank enables researchers across the world to do this. So far, samples from the tissue bank have been used in several major discoveries, including investigations of how the immune system is involved in MS.

The difference you can make

The MS Society Tissue Bank relies on brain and spinal cord donations from people with and without MS. Visit the Tissue Bank website find out more and download a donor information pack

If you have any questions or would like more information you can call 020 7594 9734 or request information by post:

MS Society Tissue Bank
Division of Brain Sciences
Imperial College London
Hammersmith Hospital Campus
160 Du Cane Road
London W12 0NN

The next research breakthrough is in reach

Your donation will help stop MS.

  • Please enter an amount

    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.

£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.

£100could pay for half an hour of MRI use, so researchers can monitor the success of clinical trials and understand MS in more detail.

Every penny you give really does take us a step closer to stopping MS. Your donation will make a difference.

  • Please enter an amount

    Our minimum donation is £2, please enter a different amount.

£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics

£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks

Your regular donation means we can keep funding world class MS research with confidence. Together we will stop MS.

MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette