Skip to main content

Neuropathology Core

Edwin Monuki, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Pathology; Joint Appointment, Developmental & Cell Biology

What caused my loved one to have dementia?  This may be the most important question the Neuropathology Core addresses after a research participant passes away and donates his or her brain to science.

The Neuropathology Core, led by Dr. Edwin Monuki, aims to uncover the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. In addition to providing families with a definitive diagnosis, brain donation enables scientists to conduct innumerable studies that explore the neuropathological changes that occur during aging and dementia and the relationship of those changes to the cognitive, functional, and behavioral symptoms present in life.

During an autopsy of the donated brain, neuropathologists examine the tissue, looking for the hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s disease – amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles – as well as other pathological changes that may have contributed to the clinical symptoms. All brain tissue and other biological specimens are stored in the UCI ADRC Tissue Repository managed by the Neuropathology Core.

Additionally, the Neuropathology Core is responsible for distributing tissue and other biological specimens to researchers and promoting cross-center collaborations to maximize use of these precious samples.  Every ADRC clinician and investigator involved in handling brain tissue and biological specimens does so with great care, highly aware of the invaluable gift research volunteers are making. To learn more about brain donation, click here.


Brain Donation Program

1211 Gillespie Neuroscience
Irvine, CA 92697-4540
Telephone: 949.824.5032
Pager: 714.506.4004
Fax: 949.824.2071

The National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) has a neuropathology and biospecimen resource locator tool to assist investigators with the search of all stored and banked autopsy materials related to ADC participants.

With NACC’s tissue resource locator, you can determine which Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs) have postmortem specimens that may be available for sharing.

Sample of Core Publications