The University of Michigan Brain Bank was founded by Professor Anne B. Young and Professor J. Penney to collect, store and distribute post-mortem brain tissues and associated clinical history. Established in 1982, the Michigan Brain Bank, in partnership with the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (MADRC), now has approximately 1500 paraffin and 1100 frozen brains. The program currently has 560 registered living clinical research participants who have consented to donate after death.

The Michigan Brain Bank has contributed to studies of many brain diseases, including studies of Alzheimer disease, Ataxia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington disease, ALS, and psychiatric diseases. Active research programs include studies of Alzheimer disease and related dementias, Multiple Systems Atrophy, Parkinson's disease and bipolar disorder.

The Brain Autopsy and Donation Program provides individuals and families with an opportunity to contribute to research. With the hope of developing pharmaceutical treatments and finding cures, the Brain Bank is committed to providing the scientific community with the brain tissues necessary to investigate the progression of neurological disease. Scientists around the world contact the Michigan Brain Bank to access tissue and information. The Michigan Brain Bank carefully screens all proposals and only approves legitimate requests. The Brain Bank adheres to all applicable regulations and guidelines when procuring, storing and distributing brain tissue. Appropriate consent is always obtained and donor anonymity is maintained.