The Australian Veterans Brain Bank - AVBB - was launched in January 2023, as a sister brain bank to the Australian Sports Brain Bank and part of the Concussion Legacy Foundation Global Brain Bank initiative. It is a collaboration between the Neuropathology department of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and the National Centre for Veterans Healthcare at Concord Hospital, Sydney. The Australian Veterans Brain Bank has the capacity to retrieve brain donations from across most of the country.
Our mission is to use expert diagnostic neuropathology, coupled with research, to understand the range of physical brain injuries occurring in Australian veterans. Exposure to blasts injuries, combat training, and other aspects of military service may lead to similar issues that we have seen associated with repetitive head injury in contact sport.
We empower families and loved ones by providing accurate diagnoses, and we use donor tissue to facilitate research into CTE and other brain disorders associated with brain trauma.
Our vision is for Australia to be a nation that recognises and acts on CTE and other brain disorders associated with repetitive head injury, either in military service, contact sports or elsewhere. We will provide help and advocacy for those individuals and families affected. We are working to achieve our vision through:
Educating the public and medical practitioners
Connecting affected families to create a support network
Facilitating world class research through our brain donor program
Associate Professor Michael Buckland is the Director of the Australian Veterans Brain Bank.
Michael Buckland is the Head of the Department of Neuropathology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Head of the Molecular Neuropathology Program at the University of Sydney, Executive Director of the Australian Sports Brain Bank, and Co-Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Australia Brain Bank. He is dedicated to understanding the spectrum of brain pathology arising as the long term effects of repetitive brain injury.
Dr Cameron Korb-Wells is the is the Medical Director of the National Centre for Veterans’ Healthcare and clinical lead for the Australian Veterans Brain bank.
Cameron Korb-Wells is a staff specialist in geriatric medicine and Deputy Director of Medical Services at Concord Hospital. In addition to his specialist clinical training he holds a masters in public health. Cameron is devoted to all aspects of Veterans health.
Ms Kirsty Chapman is the Clinical Operations Manager at the National Centre for Veterans Healthcare.
Kirsty is an experienced Nurse Manager who oversees operations of the NCVH. She brings years of specialist nursing and operations expertise to her role in organising and advocating for best quality Veterans healthcare.
Andrew Affleck is the AVBB and ASBB Manager
Andrew Affleck is a Senior Hospital Scientist at RPA and has built his career around his passion for brain banking. He manages AVBB, the ASBB and MS Research Australia brain banks. He has more than 10 years’ experience in the collection, characterisation, and storing of brain tissue for research, with a focus on neurodegeneration. Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the AVBB, and he is committed to continuing efforts to further understand the long term effects of traumatic brain injury.