IIAM Research Placements Led to a Banner Year for Accomplishments in Medical Research

As 2020 unfolds, we review the significance of major research initiatives from the past year and renew our commitment to strengthening the partnerships that have led to these achievements.

  • New medicines have been developed and/or continue to be improved to treat devastating liver diseases, such as hepatitis, allowing patients to return to healthy and productive lives.
  • Through the generous donation of human reproductive organs, important advances, which otherwise would not have been possible, have been made in further improving ovaries and testes cryobanking. The success of the latter can significantly change the lives of the over 150,000 young cancer patients annually and 1,000,000 pre-pubertal and young adult cancer survivors under the age of 40 in the U.S.
  • Researchers have taken steps to identify therapeutic targets to prevent disease progression in sporadic aortic aneurysm and dissection — a destructive and inflammatory condition in numerous diseases such as autoimmune diseases, alcoholic liver injury, and vascular inflammation and degeneration.
  • A donor organ provided through IIAM enabled a research institution to show how integrating clinical information with molecular and cellular analyses identified that what appeared to be Type 1 Diabetes, was in fact part of a broader spectrum of insulin-deficient diabetes; and provided translational insight into an incompletely understood form of human diabetes.
  • IIAM birth tissue donations have allowed researchers to isolate cells and create a bank — making these cells available to other researchers for future clinical use and clinical trials for remedying diseases such as osteoarthritis and chronic wound closure.
  • Researchers established a 3D infection model based on donated human lungs to more effectively create therapeutic options to treat patients with pneumonia, the third most common cause of death, especially for the elderly and children under five years old.
  • 2019 saw a breakthrough in advancing a potential new therapy for infants and adults suffering from a class of gastrointestinal neuropathies. A single neonatal donor, in particular, had a diagnosis that was critical to the success in shaping a new and innovative therapy — as this baby had precisely the condition the researchers hope to someday cure.
  • IIAM donations helped our understanding of cardiac anatomy and biomechanics — fundamentally shaping the design of next-generation leadless pacemakers that can be implanted safely into patients.
  • Donor organs have enabled researchers to measure airway remodeling using a new imaging method — which shows important changes in the airway matrix that impacts both kids and adults with both fatal and non-fatal asthma. This discovery will help researchers develop targeted therapeutic interventions that are urgently needed to treat this patient population.

“We thank the families who have selflessly entrusted us with their most precious donations. Your courage and generosity enables the research community to develop lifesaving technology and improve the lives of others.” – IIAM Researcher

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