The Cardiovascular Tissue Registry at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation is a unique biobank of heart, blood vessel and heart valve tissues collected over a period of over 30 years. This ambitious project was founded with the aim of providing researchers with a unique resource of well annotated human tissue specimens to further our understanding of heart and blood vessel disease. While this collection and the Centre have been known by many names, the value of this resource has grown consistently since inception and now is recognized as a global leader in the cardiovascular biobanking community.


The Cardiovascular Tissue Registry has origins in a collection started by Dr. Bruce McManus in 1982 at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre. Originally focused on small surgical tissues and postmortem heart collection, the collection grew to become a leading collection recognized worldwide. In 1993, Dr. McManus was invited to relocate the specimens to St. Paul’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia as part of the McDonald Research Laboratories, now known as the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation. For over 20 years, the Cardiovascular Tissue Registry has maintained close collaborations with the Departments of Surgery, Radiology, Cardiology, and Pathology at UBC and St. Paul’s Hospital, and works closely with The Heart Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital. The Heart Centre is a centre for excellence for heart care, as well as a major teaching facility for cardiac professionals and a leader in heart disease causes and treatments.

Our Collection

Harnessing the strength of its new home, the Cardiovascular Tissue Registry now houses an invaluable collection of fresh and fixed specimens from explanted hearts, replaced native, mechanical, and bioprosthetic valves, mechanical assist device implantations and removals, and vascular surgeries.



All images courtesy of the Cardiovascular Tissue Registry and the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation "Powers of 10". Electron Microscopy images courtesy of Dr. David Walker.