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JDRF Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes

Logo nPOD-high res_tifA collaborative model for disease research

The University of Florida is the primary coordinating center for the JDRF Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes or nPOD, a type 1 diabetes research project dedicated to the study of the human pancreas.

JDRF-nPOD supports scientific investigators worldwide by providing, without cost, rare and difficult to obtain tissues beneficial to their research. nPOD currently supports over 120 research studies at several U.S. medical schools and sites in England, Finland, Canada, and Australia (Learn more ยป). The Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) provides nearly $3 million a year in grant funding for nPOD-related studies. Projects have a broad scope including, but not limited to the immunopathology of T1D, beta cell physiology and dysfunction, pancreas development, beta cell regeneration, trans-differentiation and dedifferentiation, environmental factors, and imaging.

The main goals of nPOD are:
  • Obtain specimens from organ donors with T1D (diagnosed or subclinical), and establish a research resource of pancreas and disease relevant tissues (pancreatic lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, blood, and other) from organ donors with T1D, obtained at any point after clinical diagnosis, or during the prediabetes phase, when islet autoimmunity silently leads to beta cell destruction (donors identified by screening for islet autoantibodies).
  • Distribute specimens to JDRF-nPOD scientists, anywhere in the world, for comprehensive and diversified investigations of human T1D.
  • Promote collaboration, by using tissue- and real-time data-sharing, and by developing and managing synergistic project interactions as well as focused working groups, all to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of human T1D.

Organ Donation

JDRF nPOD investigators are continually humbled by the decision families make to contribute to type 1 diabetes research through organ donation. While we make every effort to honor the wishes of the donor family, we cannot accept all donations. At this time, the following groups of donor gifts are of particular importance:

  • Donors with longstanding Type 1 diabetes
  • Donors with recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetes (less than 7 years of type 1 diabetes duration)
  • Donors who have type 1 diabetes-related autoantibodies, are between the ages of 0-45, and have not been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes

For more information on organ donation, please visit the  JDRF nPOD website.

Staff at the University of Florida

Mark Atkinson, PhD – JDRF nPOD Executive Director

Martha Campbell-Thompson, DVM, PhD – Director of the Organ Procurement and Pathology Core

Suzanne Ball, RN, MHS, JDRF nPOD Director

Irina Kusmartseva, PhD  – JDRF nPOD Lab Director

Teresa Miller – JDRF nPOD Program Assistant

Jayne Moraski, MS – JDRF nPOD Assistant Director

Mingder Yang, PhD – JDRF nPOD Investigator Relationship Coordinator

Investigators at The University of Florida

Mark Atkinson, PhD – JDRF nPOD Executive Director

  • Projects:
    Pancreatic Immunologic and Metabolic Parameters
    Histopathology of Type 1 Diabetes
  • Projects:
    Gut Microbiota in Early Type 1 Diabetes
    Pancreatic Immunologic and Metabolic Parameters

Todd Brusko, PhD

  • Project:
    Flow Cytometric Immunophenotyping of nPOD Donors

Martha Campbell-Thompson, PhD – Director of the Organ Procurement and Pathology Core

Joe Larkin, PhD

  • Project:
    TCR Utilization in Type 1 Diabetes Insulitis

Clive Wasserfall, MS

  • Project:
    Humoral Immunity in Type 1 Diabetes


For other inquiries concerning nPOD, please contact:

University of Florida, College of Medicine
1329 SW 16th Street, Room 4230
PO Box 100275
Gainesville, FL 32608-1128

Phone: (352) 273-8277