Funder: National Institutes of Health
Due Date: 3/20/2018
NIDDK requests applications to join a new research consortium “Microphysiological Systems (MPS) for Modeling Diabetes (MPS-MOD)”. NIDDK will support the development and validation of human tissue chips that closely mimic the normal physiology of key metabolic tissues, including the pancreatic islet, liver, skeletal muscle, and white adipose tissue (WAT). Experimental designs for the MPS-MOD platforms should incorporate strategies to measure pathophysiological changes associated with metabolic disease, including the impact of immune cells on metabolic dysfunction. Once developed, these multi-dimensional MPS-MOD platforms will serve as the foundation for NIDDK’s advanced strategy to identify new and novel therapeutics for diabetes. The utility and validity of model systems developed under this initiative will be measured, in part, through the ability of known diabetes therapeutic agents and biomarkers to influence biology of the system, using best practices and rigorous study design. The need for high-quality, well-characterized isogenic/patient derived iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cell) lines and standardized differentiation procedures is a critical step in turning disease-specific lines into tools for discovery. In the future, iPSC-based human tissue chips could play a central role in drug development, testing, screening, drug repurposing and toxicity testing. Eventually, collections of iPSCs that capture the heterogeneity of T2D could be used to conduct “clinical trials in a dish”, to discover biomarkers of response and to develop personalized treatments. An essential feature of this program will be a multidisciplinary approach that brings together basic science experts and physician scientists in stem cell biology, bioengineering, computational biology, pharmacology, liver biology, islet biology, adipose biology, metabolism and diabetes.