- ABOUT nPOD
- FOR INVESTIGATORS
- FOR PARTNERS
- CONTACT US
Get the latest updates from nPOD regarding news you can use for your research.
Recent and upcoming nPOD webinar info; New Donor Category; Industry TPC; New donors, projects and more. Any questions, contact Mingder at email@example.com or by phone at 352-273-9296.
Click here for March 2013 Newsletter!
Welcome to Mingder Yang, Ph.D. as the new nPOD Investigator Relations Coordinator! Dr. Yang received a Master's Degree in Bacteriology and a PhD. in Animal Nutrition and Immunology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before joining nPOD, he co-led a start-up biotechnology company, commercializing a patented antibody technology he co-invented. As a Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Research & Development, he directed research projects; collaborated with third parties (private and public entities) for product trials; strategized company intellectual properties protection; negotiated licensing agreements; provided technical sales and customer support; and represented the company at various conferences and trade shows.
Together with his post-doctoral lab management experiences, Dr. Yang is skilled in research administration. He also has had extensive international business experience in Asia, Latin America, and Europe which equipped him to be culturally sensitive and knowledgeable in legal compliance and regulations. Mingder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 352-273-9296.
After months of hard work and an overwhelming spirit of collaboration, the nPOD-Viral working group, which focuses on the role of viruses in type 1 diabetes, has defined key questions that the group will address together. The work has been organized in major tasks, and experimental plans have been developed and submitted for funding. This innovative and expansive project will utilize the expertise of nPOD-investigators from all over the globe.
Preliminary work is ongoing, and the group will have an opportunity to meet for a joint symposium with the VIDIS (Virus in Diabetes International Study) Group and other leading investigators to discuss topics related to viral etiology and further leverage collaborative opportunities. At the end of the symposium the nPOD-Viral group will meet for face to face discussions of the groups’ work and progress. The symposium will be held in conjunction with for this year’s EASD meeting in Berlin (October 1-5, 2012).
In addition to the normal array of tissue processing and distribution services provided by nPOD's OPPC, they have recently added new image analysis programs that allow for clearer identification of cells within islets. This software is now part of the baseline histopathological characterization done by OPPC.
The software counts cells and whether they are co-stained with insulin and/or Ki67.
Thanks to generous JDRF support, nPOD has recently established the nPOD-Transplantation (nPOD-T) program. Building on the nPOD infrastructure, nPOD-T will collect tissues (transplanted and native pancreas, peripancreatic lymph nodes, spleen and peripheral blood) from patients with T1D who received a pancreas or pancreas/kidney transplants.
Specifically, nPOD-T plans to:
The nPOD-T program will involve transplant centers at the University of Miami, Minnesota and Indiana. Tissues from transplanted patients should help nPOD investigators addressing questions of islet autoimmunity and pancreas regeneration/remodeling in both the native and transplanted pancreas. Expect updates as tissues becomes available in the near future.
We wish Amy the best of luck as she leaves the nPOD family to get married and begin a family of her own. Congratulations to Amy and Dylan, we will miss you! Please contact Carmen Retrum with any investigator related questions or concerns you might have, including those for the Viral Workgroup, as she will be stepping into this role. Carmen can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 352-273-9296.
nPOD hosted its 4th Annual Meeting in Miami, Florida on January 15th, 16th, and 17th of this year. There were over 100 participants in this year's meeting where type 1 diabetes science was presented in 8 sessions. We are excited to report that the underlying theme of the meeting was investigator collaboration and our hope is that this event will help move the diabetes research community closer to finding a cure. We are so thankful to all who were in attendance and made this year's event an outstanding success!
Please visit the Annual Meeting webpage for more information on the meeting and the science that was presented. To view and search all nPOD meeting abstract submissions, please click here. Abstracts can be found and searched by title or by name (either senior author, presenter, or nPOD PI).
We are excited to report that the nPOD Organ Processing and Pathology Core (OPPC) lab recently scored a 95.9% on the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) assessment! ISBER is the only international forum that addresses the technical, legal, ethical, and managerial issues relevant to repositories of biological and environmental specimens. Way to go OPPC, keep up the great work!
nPOD's OPPC has been very busy this year! Already in 2011, nPOD has recovered 50 cases, which is a record number for our project. We are so thankful for these precious cases and know that through the efforts of the OPPC, this resource is being put to good use among our investigators. In fact, the OPPC has already sent 242 distribution/shipments to investigators this year, this is already a 34% increase over the 181 distributions/shipments that were distributed in 2010. That is nearly 5 shipments every week! Thank you to our OPPC for all of their long hours and hard work!
nPOD is always looking for innovative ways to collaborate with health care providers in order to identify and provide rare and precious type 1 diabetic specimens to our investigators. Dr. Alberto Pugliese, nPOD Co-Executive Director, was invited to speak at their annual meeting. He proposed a major strategic initiative aimed at identifying potential donors with recent onset of the disease which will ultimately help nPOD achieve its goals. The group was enthusiastic about collaborating with nPOD and our Director, Suzanne Ball, is directly involved with the plan and protocol that is now being developed. nPOD is proud to be a sponsor at the Advanced Emergency Medicine Conference in 2012. This is a high priority and we are implementing plans to bring this project into fruition in the shortest time possible. Please stay tuned for updates.
The cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet known, and there are many hypotheses as to what it could be. One leading idea is that the disease is caused by persistent viral infections. To help our investigators get closer to discovering the cause, and hopefully a cure, the nPOD team has held several webinars to provide our investigators with a forum for sharing and discussing their interesting results from particular cases examined. Recently, a viral workgroup has formed from these discussions to answer the question of viral presence in nPOD tissues. With over 30 participants, a strategic working plan has already been developed and currently even smaller groups are moving forward with immunostaining and RNA analyses.
We hosted our 2nd annual OPO workshop in mid-October in Gainesville. This in-depth workshop provides an overview of the nPOD program for coordinators and research managers from our OPO partners around the country. This year 20 OPO representatives attended and earned either CTBS or CEPTC continuing education credits as the nPOD staff and investigators discussed our program and the cutting edge research that we support. We also reviewed nPOD's inclusion criteria and held interactive discussions on how to improve process. We want to thank all OPOs that attended, and encourage research coordinators, hospital development staff and front line staff interested in learning more about the nPOD program to join us for our next workshop. Please contact Jayne Moraski at: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
nPOD exhibited at many different conferences this past year exposing our project to hundreds of attendees and we were even sponsors of meeting sessions. While attending the American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference nPOD staff were able to meet with nPOD investigators face-to-face and recruit new invesgitators to the project. nPOD staff also attended conferences held by the Association for Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the Organization for Transplant Professionals (NATCO). Our participation in these conferences directly resulted in new relationships and collaborations with more OPO's. We hope that by exhibiting at these and other meetings next year we will continue to have such positive interactions and outcomes.
Who: Huriya Beyan, Ph.D., Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
What: A DNA Methylation Signature Associated with Risk of Childhood-onset Type 1 Diabetes
When: Wednesday, November 2nd at 9:30 A.M.
Where: Biomedical Sciences Building, Room JG-32, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Dr. Huriya Beyan is doing her postdoctoral studies with Dr. Richard Leslie at the University of London and currently on a fellowship at the University of Miami, working with nPOD Co-Executive Director, Dr. Alberto Pugliese. To learn more about Dr. Beyan's studies, please click here.
Suzy brings twenty years of experience in the field of donation and transplantation. She has worked as the Director for both organ and tissue organizations. She has also served as two-term Chair of the National Donor Family Executive Council for the National Kidney Foundation. Suzy is a Registered Nurse, with a Master's degree in Health Science. Suzy will be serving as the Director of nPOD and can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (352) 273-9268. Jayne Moraski has resumed her position as Assistant Director of nPOD and can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (352) 273-9271.
Irina is an immunologist with over 11 years of research experience. Prior to joining the University of Florida, Dr. Kusmartseva worked at Duke University Medical Center, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Mount Sinai Medical School. She has unique experience with the molecular and primary cell culture techniques and is an author of several articles published in the Journal of Immunology, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. She received her PhD in Immunology at the Tomsk Medical University, Russia. Her key area of expertise includes mechanisms of immunoregulation in inflammation, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Irina can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at (352) 273-7737.
Teresa comes to nPOD with eighteen years of administrative experience at the University of Florida. She will assist with all aspects of the program including scheduling, nPOD online pathology passwords, event planning, travel management and much more. Teresa will be taking Lindsay Kallman's place effective August 29th. Teresa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (352) 273-9295.
We are sad to say goodbye to Lindsay, but wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors, especially as she embarks on a journey traveling across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She and Max will be traveling entirely overland during this next year. Traveling mercies for them! We will miss her at nPOD, where she worked very hard to standardize processes, schedule meetings endlessly, lead the nPOD annual meeting negotiations and provide daily administrative support. We are excited to follow her on this next adventure and througout her bright future!
We are pleased to announce that JDRF is soliciting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the study of modifications of beta cell antigens in the immunopathogenesis and treatment of type 1 diabetes. Below please find more information on this funding opportunity:
Please note the following deadlines:
Expression of Interest: September 9, 2011
Application Due Date: December 2, 2011
We are pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for the 2012 nPOD Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held January 15-17 in sunny Miami, Florida.
For more information on the Call for Abstracts and to access the abstract template, please click here.
Congratulations to nPOD investigator, Jake Kushner, M.D., who recently moved to Baylor College of Medicine (BCM)where he has been named a McNair Scholar in diabetes and section head of pediatric diabetes and endocrinology at BCM. Additionally, he has been named service chief of pediatric diabetes and endocrinology at Texas Children's Hospital. Please click here to read more.
The Immunology of Diabetes Society (IDS) and JDRF organized a forum for discussion of results of nPOD research projects, as well as other studies of type 1 diabets, at theFederation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) meeting, held on June 23, 2011, in Washington, D.C. Over 10 nPOD investigators were in attendance and presented their research. For more information on these presentations, please visit our publications page.
Project Name: TCR signal transduction in diabetogenic T cells
PI: Raphael Clynes, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University
Project Name: Bone marrow progenitor cell (BMPCs) dysfunction in diabetes is mediated by reduced bioavailability of NO
PI: Maria Grant, M.D., University of Florida
Project Name: Determination of specific and non-specific binding of 18F-FP-DTBZ in whole pancreas homogenates obtained from controls and patients with longstanding type 1 diabetes
PI: Paul Harris, Ph.D., Columbia University
Co-PI: Matthew Freeby, M.D.
Co-PI: Masanori Ichise, M.D.
Project Name: Identification of T1D-specific Fab fragments of IA-2 dominant conformational epitope
PI: Massimo Pietropaolo, M.D., The Brehm Center for Diabetes Research, University of Michigan
Co-PI: Michael Morra, Ph.D.
Project Name: Systematic assessment of autoreactivity in human type 1 diabetes
PI: Brad Stone, Ph.D., Benaroya Research Institute
Co-PI: Bill Kwok, Ph.D.
Co-PI: Matthias von Herrath, M.D., University of California, San Diego
Dr. Mark Pescovitz, esteemed nPOD investigator and professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine was killed in an automobile accident on December 12, 2010. Dr. Pescovitz was an accomplished physician with a passion for type 1 diabetes research, as well as a loving husband and father of three children. We extend our condolences to Dr. Pescovitz's wife, Dr. Ora Pescovitz and their family. A touching article from his brother can be found by clicking here.
Jayne Moraski, MS, Assistant Director, OPO and Lab Relations
Jayne Moraski, MS, is the Assistant Director of nPOD and will work primarily to coordinate relationships with the nPOD screening laboratories and organ procurement organizations (OPO). Please contact Jayne if you are an OPO interested in working with nPOD. Jayne also coordinates nPOD educational webinars, manages nPOD's onsite presence at professional conferences and coordinates our annual meeting. Jayne can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at (352) 359-2741.
Amy Wright, MS, MBA, nPOD Coordinator for Investigator Relations
We are pleased to introduce Amy Wright, MS, MBA, who has joined the nPOD project as the Coordinator for Investigator Relations. In her new position, Amy will focus on making sure nPOD investigators have the support they need to conduct nPOD related research. Amy can assist investigators with nPOD online pathology access, applications from new investigators, tissue sample requests from existing investigators, IRB paperwork, and other investigator related concerns. Amy is also the staff liaison for the investigator based nPOD Tissue Prioritization Committee, the nPOD Publication and Presentations Policy Committee, and the nPOD Technology and Scientific Collaboration Committee. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (352) 273-9294.
Carmen Retrum, MS, nPOD Coordinator for Special Projects
Carmen Retrum, MS, is the nPOD Special Projects Coordinator. In this role, she serves as the nPOD staff liaison for the nPOD-e, nPOD-t, and nPOD-c initiatives. nPOD-e is an effort to expand nPOD's recovery efforts to Europe in order to increase access to human biospecimens for our investigators. The nPOD-t initiative is in the preliminary stages of exploring the feasibility of recovering pancreata from donors who have have had a pancreas transplant. These tissues would also be available to nPOD investigators. The nPOD-c effort seeks to better understand the needs of investigators engaged in diabetes-related complications research and develop a model to recover human biospecimens to support these investigators. Carmen continues to serve as the nPOD Webmaster. She can be contacted at email@example.com or by phone at (352) 273-9296.
Lindsay Kallman, nPOD Administrative Assistant
Lindsay Kallman is the new nPOD Administrative Assistant. She assists with all aspects of the program including scheduling, nPOD online pathology passwords, newsletter, events and much more. You can reach Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (352) 273-9295.
Congratulations to JDRF nPOD RFA Grant Recipient:
We are also pleased to welcome these additional investigators:
Andrew Stewart, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Multidisciplinary Approaches to Driving Human Beta Cell Replication
E. Scott Swenson, M.D., Ph.D.
Yale University, School of Medicine
Polyploidy in the Exocrine Pancreas
Todd Brusko, Ph.D.
University of Florida
Molecular Signature of Autoimmune T cells in Type 1 Diabetes
Congratulations to the 16 investigators who received JDRF funding for nPOD based studies. These awards began July 1, 2010 and funding for each project ranges between $50,000 and $210,000. nPOD now supports over 60 international investigators engaged in efforts to better understand the causes of type 1 diabetes and find ways to prevent and ultimately cure the disease. Below is a list of recently approved projects:
Project Name: Tracing effector and regulatory T-cell populations in type 1 diabetes
PI: Dolores Jaraquemada, Ph.D., Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Project Name: Risk of autoimmune diseases and human self-antigen expression
PI: Richard David Leslie, M.D, FRCP, University of London
Project Name: Sequencing the islet transcriptome
PI: Ivan Gerling, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Memphis
Project Name: Evidence for increased numbers of stem cells in human T1D pancreas
PI: Leonard Harrison, D.Sc., Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Project Name: Islet Resistance to T1D
PI: Clayton Mathews, Ph.D., University of Florida
Project Name: Detection of islet autoreactive CD8 T-cells in insulitis versus periphery
PI: Bart Roep, Ph.D., D.M., Leiden University
Project Name: Heparan sulfate levels mark the health status of human islet beta cells
PI: Charmaine Simeonovic, Ph.D., Australian National University
Project Name: Pathological changes associated with chronic RelB activation in T1D
PI: Ranjeny Thomas, MBBS, M.D., University of Queensland
Project Name: Extracellular matrix involvement in type I diabetes
PI: Thomas Wight, Ph.D., Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
Project Name: Post-transcriptional regulation of pancreas-targeting nTreg cells
PI: Manuela Battaglia, Ph.D., San Raffaele Scientific Institute
Project Name: Age-dependent & tissue-specific changes in mRNA and miRNA expression in T1D
PI: Garry Fathman, M.D., Stanford University
Project Name: Development of T1D in humanized mice using tissues from autoimmune donors
PI: Dale Greiner, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
Project Name: Investigation of ß cells in islets, PLN and spleen in T1D
PI: Sally Kent, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Project Name: Tissue-selective adhesion molecules in human T1D
PI: Sara Michie, Ph.D., Standford University
Project Name: Direct replication of T cell receptors specific for type 1 diabetes
PI: Maki Nakayama, M.D., Ph.D., University of Colorado Health Science Center
The nPOD project is now partnering with IIAM to offer CEUs to organ procurement professionals. If you would like to participate in an upcoming Webinar, please contact Gina Dunne-Smith at IIAM for additional information.
nPOD is pleased to welcome 10 new investigators. nPOD now supports nearly 50 investigators all over the world that are invested in type 1 diabetes research. These investigators will use nPOD tissues to better understand T1D and what causes it in the hopes of finding a cure. Below is a list of recently approved projects:
Project Name: Generation of pluripotent stem cells from diabetics
PI: Dieter Egli, Ph.D.,Columbia University
Co-PI: Rudy Leibel, M.D.,Columbia University
Co-PI: Scott Noggle, Ph.D.,Columbia University
Project Name: Investigating the de-differentiated state of the ß-cell in human diabetic patient tissues
PI: Matthias Hebrok, Ph.D.,University of California, San Francisco
Project Name: Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor signaling regulates the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus type 1
PI: Jeffrey Bluestone, Ph.D.,University of California, San Francisco
Co-PI: Armando Villalta, Ph.D.,University of California, San Francisco
Project Name: Characterization of beta cell ER stress markers in type 1 diabetes
PI: Decio Eizirik, M.D., Ph.D.,Universitè Libre de Bruxelles
Co-PI: Ihsane Marhfour, Ph.D.,Universitè Libre de Bruxelles
nPOD is pleased to welcome 10 new investigators. nPOD now supports over 40 international investigators engaged in efforts to better understand the disease process in type 1 diabetes and find ways to prevent and ultimately cure the disease. Below is a list of recently approved projects:
Project Name: Generation of tools to distinguish human pancreatic cell populations
PI: Douglas Melton, Ph.D., Harvard University
Project Name: E-cadherin mediates developmental effects on the proliferation and the function of ß-cells in the islet of Langerhans
PI: Rudy Leibel, M.D.Columbia University
Co-PI: Nao Wakae, M. Phil. Columbia University
Project Name: Microangiopathy in diabetic bone marrow
PI: Paolo Madeddu, M. D.,University of Bristol, UK
Co-PI: Costanza Emanueli, Ph.D.,University of Bristol, UK
Project Name: Peri-capsular basement membrane degradation during leukocyte penetration into the pancreatic islet during development of human type 1 diabetes
PI: Lydia Sorokin, Ph.D., University of Muenster, Germany
Co-PI: Eva Korpos, Ph.D.,University of Muenster, Germany
Project Name: Characterization of the nPOD samples virome by high throughput DNA sequencing
PI: John Todd, Ph.D.,University of Cambridge, UK
Co-PI: Vincent Plagnol, Ph.D.,University College London Genetics Institute, UK
Co-PI: Herbert ‘Skip’ Virgin, M.D., Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine
Please join us in welcoming Jayne Moraski to the Administrative Core of the nPOD project as assistant director. Jayne comes to us with a background in business and grant management. She has managed state, federal and private foundation grants in excess of @2.5 million annually. Jayne holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa and an undergraduate degree from Truman State University.
Please join us in welcoming Carmen Leah Retrum to the JDRF nPOD project as Program Assistant. Carmen will support the staff members in the Administrative Core and assist with daily logistics for the project. She is a recent graduate from the University of Florida, with a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Health Education & Behavior. During her time at UF, Carmen was also a competitive swimmer, earning 12 All-American honors and an individual national championship. Welcome, Carmen!
nPOD is pleased to welcome two new partners to the nPOD Network:
IIAM is one of the largest recovery and placement networks in the world for donated human organs and tissues. IIAM honors the wishes of donors and their families who seek to contribute to medical research. These donations help scientists unlock the mysteries of diseases like type 1 diabetes and facilitate the development of treatments and therapies. IIAM supports the nPOD project through its partnerships with organ procurement organizations throughout the United States. To learn more about IIAM, please visit their Web Site at www.iiam.org. Welcome, IIAM!
LABS, Inc., has been a partner of the nPOD project since 2009, when its Philadelphia facility began screening donor samples from Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) for two type 1 diabetes related autoantibodies. This month, the Denver, CO LABS, Inc facility will provide similar services for additional OPO partners. To learn more about LABS, Inc., please visit their Web site.
For information on how you can become an nPOD partner organization, please contact the nPOD Administrative offices at (352) 273-9296
Dr. Matthias von Herrath, Director of the Center for Type 1 Diabetes Research at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LIAI) at UCSD, has dedicated his career to the study of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Together with his post-doctoral associate Dr. Ken Coppetiers and research scientist Dr. Damien Bresson, he develops potential new drugs for the treatment of T1D with combination therapy. In addition, Dr. von Herrath and Dr. Coppieters study the way immune cells enter the pancreas as a patient is developing type 1 diabetes. These immune cells, called T-cells, invade the pancreas during early T1D onset. Dr. von Herrath and Dr. Coppieters are the first investigator to live (movie) image the T-cells while they destroy pancreatic beta-cells, which are the cells responsible for producing insulin.
In addition, Dr. von Herrath's team was the first research group to successfully use multiple drugs to slow down the onset of T1D in mice. The next step is to translate this achievement to the clinic. Thanks to the nPOD program, Dr. von Herrath can study human tissues from the pancreas, spleen, lymph nodes, and blood from donors with T1D, in order to determine if the T-cells identified in mouse models are the same cells that destroy beta-cells in human type 1 diabetes. "The power of the nPOD program," says Dr. von Herrath, "lies in the diversity of available tissues, and in our ability to investigate the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. The nPOD program is invaluable to this research."
It is our privilege to announce that several of our investigators (Roberto Gianani, MD, Martha Campbell-Thompson, DVM, PhD, Suparna A. Sarkar, MBBS, PhD, Alberto Pugliese, MD, Sally Kent, PhD, Susan Bonner-Weir, Ph D, Mark A. Atkinson, PhD, and Matthias von Herrath, MD) co-authored a paper entitled: "Dimorphic Histopathology of Long Standing Childhood-Onset Diabetes," which is to be published in an upcoming issue of Diabetologia.
We are pleased to announce that JDRF has created a new funding opportunity. Below please find the JDRF nPOD RFA:
Link to the nPOD RFA
Please also note the following deadlines:
Letter of Intent deadline: December 28, 2009
Application deadline: February 8, 2010
Please visit the Requests for Application section of the JDRF website for more information. And please be sure to visit the JDRF website periodically for application deadline/guideline updates.
Jo Spencer, Ph.D., King's College London School of Medicine
Dr. Jo Spencer has published extensively on immune cells that reside in the gastrointestinal system, or gut. Because this organ shares many similarities with the pancreas, Dr. Spencer has brought her expertise into the field of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr. Spencer’s research transitioned from the field of mucosal immune cell infiltration to the field of diabetes due to the availability of tissues through the nPOD program. By examining the immune cells present in T1D pancreata, Dr. Spencer hopes to understand what role these cells have in T1D progression. Certain immune cells are seen in the pancreas in T1D patients, but only during a certain window of time during T1D onset. Dr. Spencer’s research is critical to uncovering the mechanisms of immune cells present in the pancreas during T1D onset.
Thanks to the nPOD program, Dr. Spencer has access to many tissues and slides, both in the laboratory and through online banking. “It’s been a rare privilege to work with the nPOD collection, and to actually see the specimens online before receiving them,” Dr. Spencer remarked in our interview. Her research on immune cells in T1D progression provides an anatomical viewpoint and gives researchers a new way to understand this disease in humans. Ultimately the nPOD program and investigators such as Dr. Spencer will contribute to the knowledge about T1D onset and progression, and will aid the development of new therapies for T1D patients.
nPOD is pleased to welcome the following new investigators to the project:
Akihisa Imagawa, MD, PhD
Histological Differences between Japanese and Western Type 1 Diabetes
Sara Michie, PhD
Tissue-selective Chemokines and Adhesion Molecules in Type 1 Diabetes
Jerry Nadler, MD
Eastern Virginia Medical School
12/15 Lipoxygenase Expression in Type 1 Diabetes
Suparna Sarkar, PhD and Dirk Homann, PhD
University of Colorado, Denver
Pancreatic Expression of Chemokines in Human Type 1 Diabetes
Gerald Taborsky, PhD
University of Washington
Sypathetic Neuropathy in Type 1 Diabetes
Steve Tracy, PhD
University of Nebraska
Enteroviral Infection and Type 1 Diabetes
Congratulations to Patrick Rowe, PhD, whose poster presentation: "Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Type 1 Diabetes (nPOD): Progress and Donor Demographics" won Top Abstract/Case Study presented in a Poster Format at the NATCO 34th Annual Meeting in August, 2009. NATCO is committed to the advancement of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Its membership is comprised of a diverse group of professionals, including procurement practitioners, transplant practitioners, hospital development specialists, and public education specialists. For more
by Nicole N. Parker
Dr. Dale Greiner of the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine has been collaborating with Dr. Len Shultz, of the Jackson Laboratory, for over 25 years. He and Dr. Shultz have developed a mouse model for human type I diabetes (T1D). This “humanized mouse” model is a severely immunodeficient mouse strain with the gene for the Interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor common gamma-chain knocked out. This model is significant because it allows functions of a human immune system to be studied in a mouse model with almost no immune system of its own. Over the past few years the humanized mouse has become the premier host for efficient engraftment of human cells and tissues. Human cells, such as spleen cells from donors, through the nPOD program, can be engrafted into this mouse and will result in characteristics of human T1D: inflammation of the pancreatic islets , which contain the insulin-producing beta cells of the body; human antibodies raised against the mouse’s beta cells; and partial destruction of these beta cells due to islet inflammation. This is a major research tool because of the relative ease in which the human immune system can be studied, and due to the close resemblance of this model to human Type I diabetes.
The humanized mouse model can also be highly specified for optimization of individualized clinical therapies and regimens. By modifying certain target sites on mouse beta cells to mimic the sites of human beta cells, a panel of humanized mice can be used to investigate methods for halting beta cell destruction following injection of peripheral blood lymphocytes from human T1D patients. This would be minimally invasive to the patient, requiring only a blood draw. However, this experimental model system and the humanized mouse model would not be possible without the development of the nPOD program, which procures and distributes human tissues to T1D investigators. Dr. Greiner has described his experience with the nPOD program as “simply outstanding.” nPOD has facilitated the collaboration of many T1D investigators as well as emphasized the importance of tissue and organ donations. Such a partnership helps drive research and understanding of the T1D autoimmune mechanism.
nPOD staff will be on site at a number of scientific and professional conferences this summer. Please be sure to visit our booth if you have plans to be at any of the following events:
American Diabetes Association (ADA), 69th Scientific Sessions, June 2009, New Orleans
Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Annual Meeting, June 2009, St. Louis, MO
North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO), 34th Annual Meeting, August 2009, Las Vegas
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
|Al Powers||Vanderbilt University||
Islet and Pancreas Pathology
Eric Triplett and Martha Campbell-Thompson
University of Florida
Leading type 1 diabetes investigators from around the world joined nPOD project partners, along with representatives from JDRF and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for nPOD’s 2nd Annual Conference and Scientific Update on October 19-20, 2008 in Washington, DC. Susan Bonner-Weir, Ph.D., Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard University, delivered the keynote address entitled, “Of mice and man: what we know, what we need to learn.” During her talk, Bonner-Weir compared and contrasted mouse vs. human diabetes pathogenesis, emphasizing the differences in beta cell biology. These differences, Bonner-Weir noted, underscore the importance of nPOD tissues for scientists who study human beta cells, particularly given the opportunity to employ newly available technologies in order to gain an understanding of the pathophysiology of human type 1 diabetes. Project reports by other investigators, including Dale Greiner, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, and Roberto Gianani, M.D., University of Colorado, drew into question long standing dogmas about disease etiology and progression. For more information about the annual conference, please contact nPOD.