1980
1980

National Diabetes Research Interchange

With a grant from the Pew Memorial Trust, Lee Ducat launches the National Diabetes Research Interchange prototype as a program of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International to provide human pancreas tissue for research.

1981
1981

First Tissue Retrieval

NDRI retrieves its first human tissue — a placenta and umbilical cord from a diabetic mother — and delivers the tissue to scientists at the Connective Tissue Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

1982
1982

Biorepository Established

Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Hospital agrees to house NDRI’s human biomaterial.

1984
1984

NDRI Receives First Grant

NDRI receives its first grant award from the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to serve as a research resource to the National Institutes of Health, and also opens two satellite centers to aid pancreatic islet cell research.

1985
1985

Islet Cell Transplantation Trials

NDRI provides human pancreas tissues for clinical trials on islet cell transplantation at Washington University in St. Louis.

1986
1986

NDRI Expands Mission

The National Diabetes Research Interchange becomes the National Disease Research Interchange, serving over 80 different diseases and putting the skills, expertise and unique business systems it had developed to work for the broader biomedical research community.

1987
1987

Human Tissue Collection Center

The National Cancer Institute support establishes a Human Tissue Collection Center at NDRI, and NDRI receives its first Human Tissues and Organs for Research Resources (HTORR) grant from the National Institutes of Health, which continues to support us today.

1988
1988

Human Biological Data Interchange

NDRI founder and president Lee Ducat launches the Human Biological Data Interchange (HBDI) with a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and begins to recruit “special case families” for research into the etiology and pathogenesis of diabetes and other diseases.

1995
1995

NDRI Corporate Partners Program

NDRI launches the Corporate Partners Program, which provides highly customized biospecimen procurement services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners.

1996
1996

First International Partnership

NDRI launches its first international corporate partnership with HAB Research Organization in Japan.

2004
2004

Cystic Fibrosis Funding

NDRI receives funding to support the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation’s effort to provide a reliable source of explanted CF lungs for research and drug development, ultimately leading to development of Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ FDA-approved Kalydeco®.

2005
2005

25th Anniversary Celebration

NDRI marks its 25th anniversary with a celebration honoring Paul Lacy, MD, PhD, founding chairman of NDRI from Washington University.

2006
2006

National Rare Disease Partnership

NDRI launches the National Rare Disease Partnership, partnering with 25 voluntary health organizations to create donor and investigator registries to procure and provide biospecimens for research on rare diseases.

2007
2007

Pancreas Network Partnership

NDRI partners with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes to provide pancreas and related tissues from organ donors for research into the development of Type 1 Diabetes in an effort to prevent or cure the disease.

2008
2008

NIH Funding Supplement

NDRI receives a funding supplement to its Human Tissues and Organs for Research Resource Grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Rare Disease Research.

2010
2010

Genotype Research Pilot

NDRI receives funding to serve as the tissue procurement partner for the pilot National Institutes of Health Common Fund’s Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project.

2012
2012

Leinweber Named President & CEO

In September 2012, the NDRI Board of Directors appointed William (Bill) Leinweber as President and CEO. Leinweber is a recognized leader in advocacy for medical and health research and critical public health issues. Prior to joining NDRI, he held senior leadership positions with the American Heart Association, Research!America and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

2013
2013

ALS Collaborations

NDRI begins to collaborate with the Veterans Administration Biorepository Brain Bank and the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry/McKing Consulting Corporation to recover specimens from donors with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

2014
2014

TBI and Tumor Partnerships

NDRI partners with the Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Science to provide biospecimens for research on traumatic brain injury in veterans and with the Children’s Tumor Foundation for post-mortem tissue recovery services from registered donors for research on neurofibromatosis.

2015
2015

“Donation to Discovery” Symposium

NDRI celebrates 35 years with a scientific symposium, “From Donation to Discovery: The Critical Role of Human Tissue in Research” and presents the inaugural D. Walter Cohen, DDS, Service to Science Award to Dr. Cohen, a chair emeritus of the NDRI Board of Directors.

2016
2016

CAP Accreditation

NDRI undergoes the College of American Pathologists’ Biorepository Accreditation process and receives a three-year accreditation — testament that we manage biospecimens to the highest scientific standards..

2016
2016

Service of Science Award to Dr. Bennet Omalu

Featuring the real-life doctor portrayed by Will Smith in the film Concussion, 2015 who took on the NFL with his discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and its effect on professional athletes. Dr. Omalu  was awarded with NDRI’s D. Walter Cohen, DDS Service to Science Award for his advocacy on the the importance of access to quality human biospecimens to advance scientific research on CTE, brain injury and other neurological diseases.

2017
2017
2018
2018

Service of Science Award to Dr. Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health

Featuring the real-life doctor portrayed by Will Smith in the film Concussion, 2015 who took on the NFL with his discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and its effect on professional athletes. Dr. Omalu  was awarded with NDRI’s D. Walter Cohen, DDS Service to Science Award for his advocacy on the the importance of access to quality human biospecimens to advance scientific research on CTE, brain injury and other neurological diseases.

2018
2018

HTORR Grant Renewal as well as HIV, Autism, and Alzheimer’s Supplements

In August 2018, the NIH awarded NDRI with a five-year $6.5 million grant for the recovery of human tissues and organs for research. The HTORR award was followed by an additional $800,000, a series of supplemental grants providing support for NDRI to serve as a human biospecimen resource for research focused specifically on Alzheimer’s disease, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and HIV/AIDS.

2019
2019

NDRI announces NDRI & AOPO Empowering Research and Discovery Award

NDRI was proud to announce the NDRI & AOPO Empowering Research and Discovery Award and honor the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) with the innaugural award.  This award will be given annually to recognize the organ procurement organizations committed to advancing research.

2020
2020

NDRI Celebrates 40 Years of Empowering Research and Discovery

NDRI was proud to announce the NDRI & AOPO Empowering Research and Discovery Award and honor the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) with the innaugural award.  This award will be given annually to recognize the organ procurement organizations committed to advancing research.

2021
2021

NDRI Launches $12 Million Developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression Project

NDRI along with partners at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the University of Maryland’s Medicine Department of Pediatrics, and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital received a research grant of $12.5M over five years to collaborate on the developmental Genotype‐Tissue Expression (dGTEx) project. The dGTEx project will establish the first comprehensive public resource correlating gene expression and genetic variation in pediatric tissues from all major organ systems in the human body.

2022
2022

Service to Science Awards

NDRI announced the awardees at our Service to Science event. Dr. Katalin Karikó and Dr. Drew Weissman, the scientists who led the research and technology development for the therapeutic use of mRNA, received NDRI’s 2022 Empowering Research and Discovery Award. This award honors individuals whose contributions and leadership have helped advance critically needed research.