nPOD Pancreas Slice Program – Request for Applications (RFA)


As presented at the nPOD Annual Meeting in February 2019, the nPOD Pancreas Slice Group has concluded a pilot study and demonstrated the feasibility of producing live pancreas slices from organ donors that can be used for a multitude of studies. Specifically, the pilot study has shown at least proof of principle that it is feasible to:

  • Produce viable pancreatic tissue slices from nPOD donors, with and without diabetes;
  • Examine pancreas slices at the site of production and at a remote laboratory after overnight shipping;
  • Obtain dynamic hormone secretion data from pancreas slices;
  • Perform live cell imaging and signaling studies;
  • Assess detailed 3D pancreas morphology;
  • Culture tissue slices for prolonged time periods;
  • Examine and image islet infiltrating lymphocytes in pancreas slices.

The nPOD slice group will therefore transition from its pilot stage into the nPOD Pancreas Slice Program & Working Group (PSPWG). To this end, nPOD is releasing this RFA to solicit applications from nPOD Working Groups, nPOD Investigators, or investigators who wish to join nPOD in this effort. We anticipate that existing nPOD Working Groups are willing to exploit the pancreas slice platform to address key questions, not limited to the broad ones listed below as general guidance:

  • Islet Dysfunction Group: studies of islet function. Studies of exocrine cell function are also desirable.
  • Autoimmunity Group: studies of lymphocytes involved in islet autoimmunity, including live imaging.
  • Virus Group: studies of viruses linked to T1D, including effort to isolate virus that might be present, or examine effects of experimental viral infections on islet cell function.
  • Extra-Cellular Matrix group: studies of extra-cellular matrix components in the context of islet cell function and autoimmunity.
  • Other: we are open to suggestions!

A key limiting factor in the implementation of this program is the current capability of obtaining slices. Once an organ is received by the nPOD OPPC in Gainesville, viable pancreas slices must be obtained within a time frame of about 3 hours. This limits the number of pancreas slices that can be obtained from a given pancreas; it is estimated that about 120-150 slices can be obtained from most donors, a portion of which is retained by the nPOD OPPC to perform baseline assessments of viability and islet function. Yield may vary by donor, and for some it may not be possible to provide slices to all projects. It is estimated that at this stage nPOD may be able to provide slices in support of support of 6 projects, with each project receiving up to a maximum of 20 pancreas slices; laboratories receiving pancreas slices must be located in the North American continent so that slices can be shipped overnight.

Corresponding Webinars: (send all supporting documents to Monica Novak)

April 23, 11 AM-12:30 PM EST, nPOD-Virus Grouplink to Webex Meeting
(Webinar Chairs: Pugliese, Richardson)

April 24, 2 PM-3:30 PM EST, nPOD-Autoimmunity Group – link to Webex Meeting
(Webinar Chairs: Pugliese, Kent)

April 25, 9 AM-10:30 AM EST, nPOD-Extracellular Matrix Group – link to Webex Meeting
(Webinar Chairs: Bogdani, Pugliese)

April 26, 11 AM-12:00 PM EST, nPOD Islet Dysfunction Group and Exocrine Function Group – link to Webex Meeting
(Webinar Chairs: Speier, Mathews)

May 22, 2019 – nPOD Pancreas Slice Group Discussion (11 AM to 2 PM EST) – link to Webex Meeting
(Webinar Chairs: Pugliese)

Contact information:

For administrative questions, Webinar and WebEx assistance: Monica Novak (monicano@ufl.edu)
Send additional information and Webinar presentation documents: Monica Novak (monicano@ufl.edu)

For scientific questions:
Alberto Pugliese (apuglies@med.miami.edu)
Sirlene Cechin (scechin@med.miami.edu)

Download Complete RFA document and Concept Proposal Form:
Download RFA Proposal Announcement
Download Concept Proposal Form