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Einstein Human Islet and Adenovirus Core


The Human Islet & Adenovirus Core (HIAC) provides key methodologies, technology and infrastructure to support investigators in the use of human islets for research studies for the Einstein-Mount Sinai Diabetes Research Center (ES-DRC). HIAC personnel have extensive expertise in preparation, handling and use of human and rodent islets for research. Given key species-related differences in islet architecture and function, it is of utmost importance to translate the advances and discoveries made in rodent beta cells and cell lines as well as lower species islets to human islet investigation. Conversely, when important advances are made pertaining to insulin secretion by human islets, mechanistic studies are often best performed in isolated mouse or rat islets, or in insulinoma cell lines.


  1. To assist new islet investigators in access to human cadaveric and rodent islets and related cell lines for use in investigator-driven studies.
  2. To provide pure populations of live human beta cells using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS).
  3. To provide and/or facilitate the use of specialized reagents, protocols and transduction methods for gene delivery to rodent and human beta cells and islets that will, in turn, enhance investigator-initiated research.
  4. To conduct assays for the determination of glucose- or secretagogue-stimulated beta cell insulin secretion, beta cell differentiation, beta cell proliferation and survival.
  5. To perform specialized surgery and functional analyses using xenograft transplantation of human islets into immune-compromised euglycemic or diabetic mouse models, and mouse syngeneic or allotransplant of islets or cells into euglycemic or diabetic mouse models.
  6. To assist investigators in study design and data interpretation to advance experimental approaches focused on the molecular and physiologic basis of human islet cell function and dysfunction in types 1 and 2 diabetes.
  7. To train students, postdoctoral fellows, investigators and technical staff in the design and use of molecular, cellular and physiologic approaches in the study of human and rodent islet biology, and pathophysiology.


  1. Isolation and preparation of human and rodent islets/beta cells and cell lines for investigator-initiated research, which is augmented by the availability of specific islet/beta cell biological assays for the study of beta cell growth, regeneration, survival, immunobiology and function.
  2. Generation of specific viral vectors (adenovirus and lentivirus) for gene delivery of cDNAs and shRNAs of interest to beta cells and other islet cell types. In addition, we will provide viral vectors for transduction of other cell types and tissues under investigation for non-beta cell/islet investigators.

All these services are available to investigators new to diabetes research, as well as to investigators working on diabetes-related projects that can be enriched and extended by the use of the expertise and facilities of this core.

Core People

Core Director
Adolfo Garcia-Ocaña PhD Einstein Human Islet and Adenovirus Core Email