JDRF and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Trust have announced grants totaling $15.2 million to the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) in support of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.
The five-year grants, which include $10.5 million from JDRF and $4.7 million from the Helmsley Trust, will enable nPOD to expand its research on how the disease progresses in humans. Organized by JDRF a decade ago, the research consortium is both a collaborative network of scientists and the world's largest biobank of pancreatic tissue and samples from donors who had — or were at increased risk for — T1D. To foster additional scientific partnerships, nPOD makes samples available to investigators around the world at no cost.
"Thanks to nPOD, in the past decade collaborative researchers have reversed several long-held dogmas about type 1 diabetes," said Gina Agiostratidou, Helmsley's T1D program director. "This research may hold the key to what causes T1D, ways to predict those at higher risk of developing T1D, and, ultimately, how to treat it."
"The human pancreas is difficult to study while inside the body, but through the generosity of individuals who donate their pancreas and other organs, researchers are making advances toward a world without type 1 diabetes," said JDRF chief mission officer Aaron Kowalski. "We believe nPOD has the potential to do for T1D what tissue banks did to accelerate the development of cancer therapies."