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NIH Awards $6.5 Million to NDRI for Recovery of Human Tissues and Organs for Research


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded $6,591,480 to the
National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) to support continued
national leadership with the recovery and distribution of human organs
and tissues for medical research.

The five-year award of the Research Resource for Human Tissues and
Organs (RRHTO) Cooperative Agreement funds NDRI's Human Tissue and
Organs for Research Resource (HTORR) Program. Established in 1987, the
HTORR Program provides NDRI with NIH funding to support research
programs across multiple disciplines. It is through the HTORR program
that NDRI provides biomedical investigators with donated normal and
diseased human tissues and organs recovered from a diverse donor pool
using customized procurement, processing, and preservation and
distribution protocols. A core grant from the NIH Office of the
Director, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) is
supplemented with additional funding from the National Institute of
Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Eye Institute (NEI),
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
(NIAMS), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

"NDRI's mission is service to science through the provision and
distribution of human biospecimens to support research," said Bill
Leinweber, President and CEO of NDRI. "In partnership with the NIH, we
are privileged to contribute to the research efforts of scientists
across the life-science disciplines."

"Support from the NIH affirms the strong value of our mission," said
Gene Kopen, PhD, NDRI's Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
and principal investigator for the HTORR grant. "As an organization,
NDRI has demonstrated the capacity to leverage this support to enable a
broad range of complex research projects requiring human organs and

A unique element of NDRI's work supported through this agreement is
provision and distribution for neurological research through the
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). In the
last five years, NDRI has provided 884 neurological biospecimens to 79
researchers, including normal and pathological tissues representative of
20 distinct diseases, including ALS, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's
disease, muscular dystrophy, pure autonomic failure, Lewy body dementia,
and spinal muscular atrophy. Also, the NHLBI provides funds primarily
for tissue collection, storage and distribution in support of research
into the rare lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), as well as
other heart, lung, and blood tissue research.

"NDRI is most grateful for support from the NIH which allows NDRI to
partner with scientists throughout the world to expand the horizons of
medical knowledge and discover new clues addressing today's most
pressing disease challenges," said Mary Hendrix, PhD, President of
Shepherd University and Chair of the NDRI Board of Directors.

About NDRI

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.

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