During a live webinar on December 18, 2014 physicians and medical researchers from around the globe learned that a $3.3MM grant will be awarded to nPOD collaborators at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and University of Florida College of Medicine, as part of a collaborative global effort to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Awarded by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the George S. Eisenbarth nPOD Award for Team Science awarded is named, in part, for the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes, a biorepository that was established at the University of Florida in 2007. The program supports the collection and characterization of pancreatic tissues from T1D organ donors, which are made available to investigators throughout the world including in the U.S., England, Finland, Canada, and Australia.
The new funding will enable collaborative efforts of nearly 150 nPOD research projects spanning 17 counties to be expanded upon by launching new studies, therefore speeding up science and shedding light on the causes of T1D. The award will also expand infrastructure and staffing resources to enhance bio-sample availability and scientific collaboration among nPOD investigators.
Earlier this month, Mark Atkinson, PhD., director of the University of Florida Diabetes Institute, and Alberto Pugliese, M.D., head of the Immunogenetics Program at the University of Miami’s Diabetes Research Institute, were honored with the prestigious JDRF Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award on behalf of the JDRF Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) for their pioneering efforts in “creating and leveraging a clinical research resource that has provided insights into the history and pathogenesis of T1D.” The award is named in honor of JDRF’s international chairman, Mary Tyler Moore, who has T1D, and her husband, Robert Levine, M.D., for their extraordinary commitment to JDRF’s mission.
“Rather than compete against one another for academic prominence, nPOD is bringing together a community of researchers to conduct the best possible science,” said Dr. Atkinson. “We’re connecting the dots in real time with a remarkably high level of collaboration. We are speeding up science.”