What’s New in Organ and Tissue Donation Research

On September 10th 2018, Kurt Reis (BA, CTP), the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD), Donor Development and OPO Liaison Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory at the University of Florida, paid a visit to Donor Network West for a talk entitled “the nPOD Project”.

Following a visit to Donor Network West’s new Discovery Laboratory and an introduction by Dr. Ahmad Salehi, Director of Research, Kurt elaborated on the organization of nPOD and the important role that organ procurement organizations play in the progress of current knowledge and finding new therapies for type 1 diabetes.

kurt reis npod
For the first time at Donor Network West, the Research Team procured and fully dissected a whole human brain. Samples were shipped to numerous research centers in California who are working on a number of critical projects including stem cells. Donor Network West may be the only OPO in the US that provides micro-dissected human brain samples to researchers in the field of neurosciences. The tissue samples dissected for research include all cortical regions, hippocampus, brainstem, medulla, thalamus, hypothalamus, pineal gland, and the dentate gyrus.
human brain mri

On July 20th the Donor Network West Research Program presented a poster at the Bay Area Molecular Neuroscience Meeting at the University of California, Berkeley.

Researchers from various disciplines and departments working on molecular neuroscience attended this meeting held at Stanley Hall, Berkeley campus. The researchers were primarily affiliated with UC Berkeley, UCSF, and Stanford and provided the latest results of their research using tissue samples from rodents and humans.

A number of attendees visited the Donor Network West poster and inquired about more information on human tissue procurement at Donor Network West.

Facilitating Drug Discovery and Pathophysiological Studies Using Human Tissues and Metadata

Authors: Ravi Ponnusamy PhD, Phil Brown BS, Nikole Neidlinger MD, FACS, and Ahmad Salehi MD, PhD.
donor network west bamnm uc berkeley

“Advancing Translational Science Through High Quality Human Tissue and Metadata”

July 19th, Allen Ward and Dr. Salehi were invited by Dr. Sudhof (2013 Nobel laureate) to give a presentation on the availability of tissue and metadata for research at the opening of the Center for Molecular Neuroscience in Health and Disease at Stanford University.
center for molecular neuroscience in health and disease
donor network west and chan zuckerberg foundation
(From left) Dr. Ahmad Salehi, Anne Claiborne, Tania Simoncelli, Jonah Cool, Dr. Nikole Neidlinger MD, Ravi Ponnusamy

Officials from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation visited Donor Network West. Jonah Cool, Program Manager, Tania Simoncelli, Director of Policy for Science, and Anne Claiborne, Health Policy Lead, were given a tour by Donor Network West’s Dr. Ahmad Salehi, Research Director, of the wet lab facility at Norris Canyon as well as the offices at Bishop Ranch. A presentation was given by Dr. Nikole Neidlinger MD, FACS Chief Medical Officer, on the status of the donation system and policy at Donor Network West which was followed by a discussion on possible ways for a partnership between the two organizations.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative held a two day workshop that Dr. Nikole Neidlinger and Dr. Ahmad Salehi, along with 38 other industry leaders, attended to discuss ethical and practical challenges of Biobanking.

Are you a researcher who would like to partner with us?