Francine M. Benes, M.D., Ph.D.
Francine M. Benes, M.D., Ph.D., is director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, the Harvard Psychiatry Clinical Neuroscience Training Program, and the Laboratory for Structural Neuroscience at McLean Hospital. A cellular neuroanatomist and psychiatrist, she researches the brain basis for schizophrenia.
Deserving the Last Great Gift
Almost unknown three decades ago, research on the postmortem brain today engages scientists worldwide. Their work depends upon individuals who leave their brains for research, or whose families decide, at a time of grief, to give the brain of a loved one. That decision—and the legal status of the gift—is affected by laws, guidelines, and practices now being shaped by hundreds of new brain banks. Benes urges brain banks to demonstrate that they and the scientists they serve merit the trust of those who make the last great gift.