Neurosciences Research Repository

Georgene W. Hergenroeder, R.N., MHA, CCRC

In order to expand neuroscience research and move laboratory advances to patients, there is a need to integrate reliable clinical data with biologic information from patient tissue specimens. The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery Neuroscience Research Repository (NRR) seeks to meet this need. The NRR is a prospective database and sample bank of all Department of Neurosurgery physicians' patients coupled with a tissue repository. Its purpose is to collect information and samples for current and future neuroscience research to become a unique and immense resource for future studies involving brain and spinal cord injury.

Utilizing standardized electronic health data and samples collected in a uniform manner, the NRR serves to foster the ability to perform research on current and future projects. Samples and data for clinical, genomic, and proteomic analysis will be provided to optimize their value for neuroscience research.

Dr. Dong Kim had the vision for this project, which was approved by the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) in 2008. Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center approved it a month later, and the first patient was enrolled in February 2009.

Generalized datasets specific to broad neurological injury/disease conditions have been defined as: traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), Vascular, Tumor, Epilepsy, Genetic, and General Neuroscience studies. Data generated as part of clinical care will be captured, de-identified, and analyzed for research purposes. Patient outcomes, responses to, and complications from treatment, compliance with standard care protocols and quality assurance data will be captured with the ultimate goal of improving neurosurgical care through evidence-based medicine. The NRR will act as a platform on which future studies can be supported.

The NRR is for the use of collaborating UT investigators. Prior to samples, or data, being provided for analysis, protocols are reviewed and approved by CPHS and the Neuroscience Research Review Committee.

The Vivian L. Smith Foundation has generously provided support for this research platform.