• [Updated June 2020] Out of caution for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all human tissue distributions facilitated by the IIDP require COVID-19 testing and confirmed negative results for all donors. All processing center staff will use OSHA’s Universal Precautions while handling tissue, and it’s advised that all tissue recipients do the same.


    Integrated Islet Distribution Program
    Islet Distribution Program    

    Providing high quality human islet distribution to the diabetes research community.

    Supported by the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research
    Administered by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
    - National Institutes of Health

    Integrated Islet Distribution Program

Need Islets for Research?

Click here to download a blank application and Letter of Agreement.

General Information

OverviewOverview of the program

The Integrated Islet Distribution Program (IIDP) funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), replaces the NCRR and JDRF funded National Islet Cell Resource Consortium which ended July 31, 2009. The IIDP continues to provide islet availability for fundamental research. As Chair, Department of  Diabetes & Cancer Discovery Science, Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope, Joyce C. Niland, Ph.D. serves as Principal Investigator (PI) for this grant.

Dr. Carmella Evans-Molina , the newest member of the IIDP family was invited to lend her expertise as a physician and diabetes researcher to the IIDP as a consultant in 2016. In 2017, Dr. Evans-Molina officially joined the program as Co-Principal Investigator for the IIDP in our recent NIH grant renewal which was approved July 1, 2018. Carmella serves as the IIDP chief liaison with the Human Islet Phenotype Program (HIPP).

Islet Isolation CentersIslet isolation centers affiliated with IIDP

The IIDP consists of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Program Officers, an External Scientific Panel, and the Coordinating Center at City of Hope. The IIDP integrates an interactive group of islet isolation centers to coordinate the distribution of human islets. The IIDP Coordinating Center is responsible for broadcasting the availability of human islets to investigators worldwide.

Investigators Information for investigators

All investigators requesting islets must complete and submit an application to the IIDP Coordinating Center. In addition to the completed application form, applicants must also submit a concise but thorough and informative description of the specific objectives, methods associated with the use of islets, rationale for the number of islets requested and statistical methodologies to be employed. Click here for information on how to reference obtaining islets for your grant.

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Our Mission

The goal of the Integrated Islet Distribution Program (IIDP) is to work with the leading islet isolation centers in the U.S. to distribute high quality human islets to the diabetes research community, in order to advance scientific discoveries and translational medicine.

Our Services

Fair and Equitable Islet Distribution

The IIDP uses a web-based optimization algorithm to match researchers with islets best suited for their studies. This allows uninterrupted islet distribution 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Customizable Islet Demand Levels

The IIDP features a user-defined islet demand classification system which allows researchers to customize their study’s relative priority for islets as: high demand, standard demand, low demand, and on-hold.

Mobile Device-Friendly Website

Web access via smart phones and tablets is now available and customized for optimal viewing. Whether you’re at your desk or on the run, responding to islet offers is easy.

Multi-Center Islet Production Expertise

Our islet production centers have decades of experience as leaders in human islet isolation and distribution. With locations across the United States, we are able to draw upon a large organ donation network.

Standardized Packaging and Shipping

The IIDP utilizes a standardized packaging protocol which has been scientifically tested and proven to maintain islet health and quality.

Human Islet Phenotyping Program

HIPP will provide additional phenotypic data on islet shipments from islet isolation centers affiliated with IIDP. These data will include quantity, viability and potency assessments through standardized assays.

User Satisfaction Analyses

Quantitative and qualitative feedback is collected after every islet shipment and routinely analyzed to improve project satisfaction and success of the program .

Multi-Study Collaboration

The IIDP distribution algorithm can group multiple studies from anywhere in the world to ensure that your collaborators receive the same islet offers as you.

External Scientific Panel

The NIH has selected an External Scientific Panel (ESP) of human islet experts to advise the IIDP on program issues and opportunities for enhancements. The Panel meets regularly to evaluate the program and provide recommendations for improvements.

Human Islet Phenotyping Program

The Human Islet Phenotyping Program (HIPP) of IIDP was established per NIH mandate in the summer of 2016. Through a peer-reviewed application process, the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center was selected as the program site. Since its inception, the HIPP has been directed by Dr. Marcela Brissova who is also director of the Islet Procurement and Analysis Core at the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center.

The goal of this initiative is to provide standardized assessment of IIDP-contracted human islet preparations in order to understand the relationship between islet phenotypic features and key donor characteristics. Real-time and complementary data are currently available to the IIDP-affiliated Islet Isolation Centers and Investigators through a new IIDP-HIPP database. The database was jointly built by the teams at the City of Hope and Vanderbilt, and we hope it will become a valuable resource for the larger research community to advance our understanding of human islet biology in health and disease.
Human Islet Phenotyping Program

Our Process

All investigators define their study’s needs by completing donor and islet profiles. Donor gender, age, BMI, and diabetes history as well as islet type, purity, viability and other factors can be modified to ensure your islet needs are met. When islets matching your criteria become available, you will be notified of the available islet offer via email and/or cell phone text messaging. You can review each offer prior to accepting or rejecting online. Islets are then sent directly to you via overnight courier from the islet isolation center that offered the islets. Following every shipment, each islet recipient has the opportunity to provide quantitative and qualitative feedback about the islets and the packaging.

Our Fun Facts

0Islets Shipped

Integrated Islet Distribution Program

IIDP Staff

Integrated Islet Distribution Program Joyce Niland

Joyce C. Niland, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Phone: 626-218-3032


Integrated Islet Distribution Program Carmella Evans-Molina

Carmella Evans-Molina, M.D., Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator

Phone: 317-278-3177


Integrated Islet Distribution Program Janice Sowinski

Janice Sowinski, M.S.

IIDP Program Manager

Phone: 626-536-5641


Integrated Islet Distribution Program Shaunna Spears

Shaunna Spears

IIDP Business Manager

Phone: 626-218-6663

Integrated Islet Distribution Program James Cravens

James Cravens, M.P.H.

IIDP Project Administrator

Phone: 202-689-4504

Integrated Islet Distribution Program Barb Olack

Barbara Olack

Senior Research Coordinator

Phone: 618-539-3969


Carol Swanson

Scientific Data Curator

Phone: 314-469-6799


Integrated Islet Distribution Program Julie Hom

Julie Hom

Technical Project Manager

Phone: 626-218-4174


Integrated Islet Distribution Program Julie Kilburn

Julie Kilburn


Phone: 805-550-5825


IIDP Developers

Integrated Islet Distribution Program Jenny Chuang

Jenny Chuang

Database Administrator

Phone: 626-218-5147


 Heather Sibley

Heather Sibley

Software Developer

Phone: 626-218-2798


Integrated Islet Distribution Program Julie Yousefi

Julie Yousefi

Software Developer



Human Islet Phenotyping Program (HIPP) of IIDP

HIPP - Marcela Brissova, PhD

Marcela Brissova, Ph.D.


Phone: 615-936-1729
Email: marcela.brissova@vanderbilt.edu
Human Islet Phenotyping Program Scientists

Program Statistics

Since the establishment of the IIDP/ICR in 2001 COH has established an excellent track record of working collaboratively with 19 Integrated Islet Distribution Program (IIDP) Islet Isolation Centers and over 500 investigators, placing over 235 million islets and supporting over 300 studies, yielding 758 peer-review publications. The goal of the IIDP Coordinating Center is to provide high quality human islets to the diabetes research community and has been doing so since 2004. In 2007, the IIDP introduced an algorithm to the Islet Allocation System to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of human islets to all approved investigators.
  • Cumulative IEQs Shipped Per Year
  • Cumulative Shipments Per Year
  • Studies by Area of Research