Connect to Purpose
With gratitude for the 20,000+ organs and tissues annually referred to IIAM, and awe over the magnitude of research being done and the medical advances being made, IIAM is proud to showcase a few of these extraordinary projects!
Led by Dr. Gloria Pryhuber at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the NIH-funded Lung Molecular Atlas Program (LungMAP) is seeking ways to trigger lung cell re-growth to ultimately help the lungs develop in premature babies, as well as treat adults suffering from COPD. By bringing the greatest lung development experts in the country together to work with non-diseased human lungs from the neonatal stage through 10 years of age, the Lung MAP will create a publicly accessible reference for the research community regarding normal human lung development at the structural, cellular, protein and gene level to help guide us toward novel and more effective treatments for chronic lung disease in children and adults. “It is very probable that what we learn will lead to new therapies for lung disease relevant not only to preterm infants, but also to adults with injured and scarred lungs,” said Dr. Pryhuber.” She added, “Through a nationwide network of organ procurement organizations, IIAM has given us unprecedented access to normal lungs from across the U.S. within the crucial 24-hour window.“
Based in San Diego, CA, the two “sister” companies, Samsara Sciences (which develops high-quality primary human liver cells for research applications), and Organovo (which designs and creates functional human tissues for research and therapeutic applications using proprietary three-dimensional bioprinting technology) are collaborating on two projects: (1) generating 3D human liver tissues that can be used to develop and test new drugs, study liver diseases and test methods of implanting such tissues into patients with liver diseases; and (2) developing an accurate 3D bioprinted kidney model to be used for pharmacology/toxicology, drug metabolism, drug screening and kidney disease studies.
IIAM provides hepatic and renal tissue to Samsara, which then provides the cells and tissue reagents to Organovo to enable the work. Sharon Presnell, President of Samsara Sciences noted, “The primary goal for any tissue should be to save a life on that day — but when that is not possible, I believe donor families appreciate that one donated tissue may go on to make tens or hundreds of regenerative medicine products that could save many lives… or lead to new cures for life-threatening diseases.”
The Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) brings together experts from around the world to address fundamental questions relating to beta cell development and regeneration, viral infection, autoimmunity, genetics, and more. With pancreata provided through IIAM, nPOD facilitates in-depth analyses of neonatal to adult pancreata from organ donors with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) or the autoantibodies that make them susceptible to the disease, as well as from healthy donors, in order to develop a comprehensive view of how T1D develops at the cellular level.
To date, nPOD has produced a steady flow of critical insights into the T1D disease process, and supported numerous advances on the path to better treatments and eventually a cure for this devastating disease. nPOD believes that a family’s gift to diabetes research is the gift of hope for a cure for future generations.