Brain Injury Research Institute

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The Brain Injury Research Institute (BIRI) is a center for the study of traumatic brain injuries and their prevention that was founded in 2002.[1][2]

Its founding members include: Julian E. Bailes, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at West Virginia University School of Medicine and former NFL and current NCAA team physician; Bennet Omalu, M.D., forensic neuropathologist, who is the Chief Medical Examiner for San Joaquin County, California, and Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Davis; and Robert P. Fitzsimmons, Senior Partner at Fitzsimmons Law Offices, in Wheeling, West Virginia.[1]

The Institute has established a brain and tissue bank. It now houses 20 brains for future research.[1]

Bennet Omalu was the first to identify chronic brain damage as a factor in the deaths of some National Football League players.[2] He discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brain of Pro Football Hall of Fame player Mike Webster in 2002.[3][1] Webster's son, Garrett Webster, is BIRI's administrator & player liaison.[1] Omalu participated in former NFL player Junior Seau's autopsy after the latter's 2012 suicide.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e, BIRI Official Website. Accessed July 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Seau family revisiting brain decision". May 6, 2012. Archived from the original on May 6, 2012.
  3. ^ Frontline. "The Autopsy That Changed Football". PBS. Retrieved October 9, 2013.

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Coordinates: 40°31′27″N 80°13′37″W / 40.52422°N 80.22701°W / 40.52422; -80.22701