The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is pleased to announce its recovery network partners for the developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression (dGTEx) project. The dGTEx project is the first comprehensive public resource correlating gene expression and genetic variation in pediatric tissues from all major organ systems in the human body. NDRI will partner with multiple organ procurement organizations/tissue banks across the United States including:
Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE), Pittsburgh, PA
ConnectLife, Williamsville, NY
Donor Network West, San Ramon, CA and Reno, NV
Gift of Life Donor Program, Philadelphia, PA
LifeGift, Houston, TX
Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA), Covington, LA
Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC), Washington, DC
The five-year, $12.5 million award to NDRI for the Biospecimen Procurement Center (BPC) of the dGTEx project is sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Other partners providing expert leadership on recovery efforts include Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
“NDRI is proud to partner with our esteemed collaborators and contribute our capabilities and expertise to the important goals of the dGTEx project. This effort would not be possible without the long-standing relationships we have with our OPO partners who will assist in this opportunity to create a long-lasting legacy for donors and their families, and a contribution to science that will be groundbreaking for the science community,” said Bill Leinweber, President and CEO of NDRI.
NDRI and these OPO collaborators will support the advancement of dGTEx by providing a comprehensive network to identify eligible donors for the program. The dGTEx recovery network will screen pediatric donation opportunities within their service areas for potential donation to the project, providing an invaluable resource to advance the scientific goals of the initiative. The network will contribute extensive expertise in tissue recovery to provide well-annotated, suitable biospecimens to the dGTEx Laboratory Data Analysis, and Coordinating Center (LDACC) for cutting-edge experimental methodologies.
“Donor Network West is proud to partner with NDRI to support this important and innovative research resource,” said Janice F. Whaley, President and CEO of Donor Network West. “We continue to be committed to supporting the research community, in addition to our transplant centers, because we know how valuable the generous gifts of our donor families are to helping researchers develop new clinical approaches to treat various diseases and disorders. Through this partnership with NDRI, we have the opportunity to honor the legacy of our donors and make a contribution to science that has the potential to save and heal more lives in the future.”
In order to advance current understandings of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) in pediatric tissue donation, the dGTEx BPC includes an ELSI study. For a more complete analysis of these challenges, the dGTEx ELSI study will take a two pronged approach by evaluating Tissue Requesters and Family Decision Makers of both children that are deceased and children at a high-risk of mortality with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion to gain broad perspectives on ELSI factors for tissue donation.
“I’d like to thank NDRI for including CORE as a partner in this important research. CORE is proud to take part, not only because it cements our legacy of innovation, but also because it advances our mission to Save and Heal lives through donation,” said Susan Stuart, CORE President/CEO. “The dGTEx project, and studies like it, offer our donors, and their families, the opportunity to contribute to meaningful research. In turn, each of the individuals who may, one day, benefit from knowledge gained through the dGTEx project, will have CORE’s donors, and their families to thank for their generosity and compassion.”
The dGTEx project joins other large-scale initiatives supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aiming to map human development. The multi-institute, collaborative effort will provide an unprecedented contribution to the advancement of pediatric research, ELSI challenges in pediatric tissue donation, and the development of new clinical approaches to treat pediatric disorders.
The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is the nation’s leading source of human tissues, cells and organs for scientific research. A not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 1980, NDRI is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, public and private foundations and organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. NDRI is a 24/7 operation that partners with a nationwide network of over 130 tissue source sites (TSS), including organ procurement organizations (OPOs), tissue banks, eye banks, and hospitals. The TSS, are distributed throughout the USA, in 45 states, with concentrations in major metropolitan areas on both the east and west coasts. Their wide geographic distribution allows NDRI to provide biospecimens from donor populations with diverse demographics and also facilitates the timely and efficient provision of fresh tissues directly to researchers across the U.S. and around the world. By serving as the liaison between procurement sources and the research community, NDRI is uniquely positioned to support breakthrough advances and discoveries that can affect advances in the treatment and cure of human diseases.