Brain pathology

Our brain pathology theme links basic, translation and clinical research in neurological conditions.

Our research

We have four main research aims.

  • Introduce state-of-the art quantitative approaches to tissue analysis including artificial intelligence-assisted whole image digital pathology, tissue microarrays, JESS automated Western blotting and multiplex immunohistochemistry.
  • Develop research in peripheral biomarkers based on liquid biopsies.
  • Develop a full understanding of inflammatory mechanisms involved in the progression of gliomas (brain tumours) and expand this knowledge across other themes.
  • Investigate the spectrum of pathology involving the pituitary gland.

Theme lead Professor Roncaroli is involved in international collaborations and national and international consortia, and has co-authored the Royal College of Pathology dataset for brain and pituitary tumours in adults and the National guidelines for the reporting of pituitary tumours in children.

He has contributed to the editions of World Health Organisation (WHO) Classification of Central Nervous System Tumours and WHO classification of pituitary tumours. He is also co-founder of the European Pituitary Pathology Group.

Services for researchers

Manchester Brain Bank

Salford Royal houses the Manchester Brain Bank (MBB), established in 1986 by Professor David Mann.

The Brain Bank collects and supplies human brain tissues for research locally, nationally and internationally. It has underpinned much of the basic clinical research into frontotemporal dementia that Manchester has pioneered over 30 years.

Under new ethics, MBB now collects a broad spectrum of neurological conditions including neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders, brain tumours, stroke, and ageing, healthy controls.

Dr Andrew Robinson is the manager of MBB. His research interests are primarily based in the neuropathology of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, he focuses on the relationships between subtle cognitive change in life and severity of pathology found at death. Identification of relevant changes in cognition can lead to advances in the early detection of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

MBB is part of the UK Brain Banks Network and uses dissection protocols established by the BrainNet Europe consortium. The bank works closely with many of the neuroscience and mental health research themes at The University of Manchester, including neuro oncology.


Federico RoncaroliFederico Roncaroli
Theme lead
Read Federico’s research profile