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NCRR launches $10.4 million initiative to create islet cell resource centers.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) has launched a major initiative to create new resources for treating type 1 diabetes. The NCRR announced in early October that it has awarded $10.4 million in grants to establish 10 Islet Cell Resource Centers (ICR).

The centers, which were selected from applications submitted last January, will be responsible for the isolation, purification, and characterization of human pancreatic islets for use in transplantation research in patients with type 1 diabetes. "The establishment of these centers takes us one step closer to making islet cell transplants a viable option for those who suffer from type 1 diabetes," said Dr. Judith Vaitukaitis, NCRR director. "Through this collaborative effort, the resource centers bring together the unique research and expertise and experience that will allow the scientific community to perfect techniques related to islet cell isolation and availability."

The ICRs selected include: *City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute, Duarte, CA; *Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY; *Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA; *Puget Sound Blood Center, Seattle, WA; *University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver; *University of Miami, Miami, FL; *University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; *University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; *University of Tennessee, Memphis; and *Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

The NCRR says the centers will be responsible for procuring whole pancreata and acquiring relevant data about the donors; islet isolation techniques and preparation methods; and for distribution of islets for approved research and clinical studies. The centers will also seek to improve cellular viability and function, as well as islet shipping procedures.

The NCRR and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International will jointly fund the ICRs. In addition, a portion of the award includes funds provided to the Department of Health and Human Services for research into the prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes.
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Title Annotation:National Center for Research Resources
Publication:Transplant News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 30, 2001
Words:310
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