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)
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Hewitt, Tyl
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University of Washington
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Tobita, Takamasa; Guzman-Lepe, Jorge; Takeishi, Kazuki et al. (2016) SIRT1 Disruption in Human Fetal Hepatocytes Leads to Increased Accumulation of Glucose and Lipids. PLoS One 11:e0149344
Dye, Briana R; Dedhia, Priya H; Miller, Alyssa J et al. (2016) A bioengineered niche promotes in vivo engraftment and maturation of pluripotent stem cell derived human lung organoids. Elife 5:
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Cisneros, Irma E; Ghorpade, Anuja (2014) Methamphetamine and HIV-1-induced neurotoxicity: role of trace amine associated receptor 1 cAMP signaling in astrocytes. Neuropharmacology 85:499-507

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