The Birth Defects Research Laboratory, funded by the NIH for 45 years, is the major national resource for collection and distribution of human conceptal tissue to grant-funded investigators at universities and nonprofit institutions nationwide. The Laboratory has collected approximately 22,000 specimens to-date, and its importance is highlighted by the fact that distribution continues to increase, with 330 investigators supplied during the past seven years, compared with 171 in the prior grant cycle. Research on tissues provided during this period resulted in nearly 500 reported publications, compared with 120 previously. Recent progress in stem cell biology, developmental genomics, translational research, and other active areas in biomedical research have made the investigators'ability to reliably provide conceptal tissue in a scientifically controlled and IRB approved manner more valuable than ever. Changes in termination practice, including newer medical, non-surgical procedures, and the use of agents to ensure delivery of nonviable specimens, have created new obstacles to obtaining sufficient amounts of high quality tissue required for research. To overcome these problems and meet increasing demand, the Laboratory has developed new relationships with both local and distant clinics. Additionally, the efficiency and expertise of the experienced staff enables the Laboratory to maximize the samples retrieved from each specimen. New initiatives include an emphasis on supplying and collaborating with stem cell investigators at the University of Washington and other institutions, as well as increasing total distribution. To this end, the investigators have formed and convened an advisory board for the Laboratory and plan to attend several scientific meetings annually to highlight our services to interested investigators. They also plan to develop a website for tissue recipients and utilize their electronic database to assure the quality of tissue samples. Finally, they propose to explore the utility of a new imaging system, Optical Projection Tomography, to the Laboratory program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Hewitt, Tyl
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University of Washington
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Yu, Kai; Deng, Mei; Naluai-Cecchini, Theresa et al. (2017) Differences in Oral Structure and Tissue Interactions during Mouse vs. Human Palatogenesis: Implications for the Translation of Findings from Mice. Front Physiol 8:154
Kim, Yong Kyun; Refaeli, Ido; Brooks, Craig R et al. (2017) Gene-Edited Human Kidney Organoids Reveal Mechanisms of Disease in Podocyte Development. Stem Cells 35:2366-2378
Andrews, Allison M; Lutton, Evan M; Cannella, Lee A et al. (2017) Characterization of human fetal brain endothelial cells reveals barrier properties suitable for in vitro modeling of the BBB with syngenic co-cultures. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab :271678X17708690
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Clark, Amander T; Gkountela, Sofia; Chen, Di et al. (2017) Primate Primordial Germ Cells Acquire Transplantation Potential by Carnegie Stage 23. Stem Cell Reports 9:329-341
Peng, Tao; Chanthaphavong, R Savanh; Sun, Sijie et al. (2017) Keratinocytes produce IL-17c to protect peripheral nervous systems during human HSV-2 reactivation. J Exp Med 214:2315-2329
Yao, Zizhen; Mich, John K; Ku, Sherman et al. (2017) A Single-Cell Roadmap of Lineage Bifurcation in Human ESC Models of Embryonic Brain Development. Cell Stem Cell 20:120-134
Tsai, Yu-Hwai; Nattiv, Roy; Dedhia, Priya H et al. (2017) In vitro patterning of pluripotent stem cell-derived intestine recapitulates in vivo human development. Development 144:1045-1055
Tsai, Yu-Hwai; Hill, David R; Kumar, Namit et al. (2016) LGR4 and LGR5 Function Redundantly During Human Endoderm Differentiation. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol 2:648-662.e8
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