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JDRF Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes

Logo nPOD-high res_tifThe UF Diabetes Institute serves as the primary coordinating agency for a unique research project called JDRF nPOD (Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes). Funded by a grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), nPOD is an innovative program that provides scientists from around the world with high-resolution tissue samples from organ donors who have consented to advance a cure through the gift of research. A critical aspect of the nPOD program is the emphasis on identifying synergies among projects and on actively promoting collaboration. Currently, nPOD supports more than 100 research studies worldwide. 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 three main goals of JDRF nPOD include:
  1. 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).
  2. Distribute specimens to nPOD approved investigators, anywhere in the world, for comprehensive and diversified investigations of human T1D.
  3. 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