Who We Are

Beta cells (green) and glucagon cells (red) differentiated from pluripotent stem cells. Lina Sui, Columbia University

This Helmsley Cellular Research Hub was established as part of a type 1 diabetes coalition comprised of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University, the New York Stem Cell Foundation and the University of Florida Diabetes Institute, with funding support from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Through this initiative, a collection of cell lines from well phenotyped patients in diabetes have been made available for specific research initiatives in diabetes. The cellular hub also shares commonality with the JDRF nPOD Program, which is managed by The University of Florida Diabetes Institute.

The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, on the campus of Columbia University was established in 1997, and includes facilities for basic and translational research, and provides multi-disciplinary, comprehensive diabetes patient care. More than a dozen groups within the Berrie Center perform research related to beta cell function, obesity and metabolism. The Center has ~13,000 patient visits per year. More than 350 patients with new-onset type 1 diabetes are seen annually at the Berrie Center and the Berrie Center is a referral site for patients with genetic or unusual forms of diabetes. There is very close collaboration between the clinicians, clinical investigators and basic scientists at the Berrie Diabetes Center Berrie Center investigators are experienced in clinical diabetes trials and are particularly experienced in recruitment of patients with diabetes into research involving stem cells. Under an IRB-approved protocol, more than 100 skin biopsies have been obtained from subjects with various clinical forms of diabetes.

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Nuclear transfer ES cells from Johannesson, Yamada et al., Nature 2014, NYSCF

 The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute is an independent, non-profit research institute focused on curing the major diseases of our time through stem cell research. NYSCF Research Institute scientists work on a range of basic and disease-based stem cell projects including diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s), cardiac disease and cancer. The laboratory provides a comprehensive and dedicated stem cell research facility for the derivation of disease-specific cell lines, the development of improved protocols for stem cell maintenance, differentiation, characterization, and preliminary genetic screening. NYSCF Scientists are deriving new human embryonic stem cell lines and developing methods of reprogramming adult cells to pluripotent stem cells using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and defined factors (iPSCS). As new cell lines are generated, they are placed on registries as appropriate and made available.

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iPS cells from a diabetic stained for Oct4 (red) and DNA (blue). Christian Nielsson, Columbia University.

The University of Florida Diabetes Institute is a comprehensive interdisciplinary and translational research and patient care program with a focus on prevention and treatment of all manifestations of diabetes. The institute and associated diabetes research programs are nationally ranked and recognized as one of the premiere programs in the world, particularly for type 1 diabetes.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional nonprofits and other mission-aligned organizations in health, selected place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1 billion. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program is the largest private foundation funder of T1D in the nation focused on understanding the disease, developing better treatments and improving care and access. For more information, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.

Contact Us

Rudy Leibel MD 1

Dieter Egli PhD 1,2


1 Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center
Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion
New York, NY 10032
Email: inquiries@cellhub.org

Use the sample request process page to request cell lines