Analysis of Brain Tissue

Our lab collaborates with UW Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Pacific Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's disease, the Adult Changes in Thought Study (ACT), Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle Longitudinal Study, and Sightlife. We support development and application of technologies that accentuate the utility of archived and prospectively acquired human brain tissue and biofluids and tissue sharing for diverse research projects in order to better understand complex mechanisms.  Our goal is to stimulate development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative disease.

Brain donation is the most precious and valuable gift that a patient and family can give, with unique benefits. A brain autopsy provides a family with a definitive neuropathological diagnosis of a loved one and an explanation of the symptoms. Importantly, the samples allow researchers to study the link between brain aging and neurodegeneration, and to perform analyses that will identify molecular targets for early detection, treatments, and cures.  The UW ADRC primarily accepts brain donations from currently enrolled ADRC research participants and a limited number of non-ADRC research subjects. If you’re interested brain donation, please contact to find out more about eligibility.

Brain Degeneration & Stem Cell

The Keene Lab is working to develop cutting-edge cell and tissue culture models of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), to advance understanding of disease mechanisms and develop new treatments. We utilize human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and directly converted neurons, through resources available through the University of Washington Neuropathology and Targeted Molecular Testing (UW NPTMT) Core. hiPSC-derived neurons and glia, and directly converted neurons, provide unique opportunities to probe the molecular mechanisms of AD and to explore possible drug targets, in the context of relevant human genetic and epigenetic backgrounds. Particular areas of interest for the Keene lab include cognitive resilience and resistance to AD neuropathological change.​

Traumatic Brain Injury

The Aging, Dementia and Traumatic Brain Injury Study is a detailed neuropathologic, molecular and transcriptomic characterization of brains of control and TBI exposure cases from a unique aged population-based cohort from the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study.  This study is a consortium consisting of the University of Washington, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, and the Allen Institute for Brain Science.