The basement of the building on Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore medical campus is lined with large extra-cold freezers containing what neuroscientists believe can help them answer long-standing questions about why people of African ancestry get some illnesses at higher rates. The “freezer farm” contains brains — 4,000 of them — from infants to 102 years old, donated locally and around the country by families descending from Africa and the rest of the globe. “We are all almost entirely genetically the same, 99.9%,” said Dr. Daniel R. Weinberger, director and CEO of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development, a Hopkins-affiliated nonprofit research organization that collects and studies the brains.
Who’s at risk for brain disease? Baltimore scientists need diverse subjects to find out
February 27, 2023