Ali Naji, MD, PhD

Ongoing Research Support

Human Pancreas and Analysis Program (HPPAP) (UC4)  

9/20/2016 - 09/19/2020
The Human Pancreas Analysis Program (HPAP) consortium brings together investigators with expertise in pancreas procurement and islet isolation, immunology, genomics, epigenomics and islet bioenergetics to study cells and tissues relevant to beta cell loss of type 1 diabetes mellitus.  The HPAP group will make the vast data accumulated available through the highly open-access resource database (PANC DB), an online database that will be developed throughout the project.  The extensive and high-quality datasets will be made available to the diabetes research community-at-large for further discovery.  
Role:  PI

Project 2:  Complement in Inflammatory Diseases: Mechanisms & Therapeutic Modulation

06/01/14 - 05/31/19
The program project employs the highly integrated and holistic approach to describe common and distinct denominators of complement involvement in inflammatory conditions and open avenues for improved therapeutic strategies. The goal of Project 2 is to delineate the mechanisms responsible for complement activation and the role of complement in the outcome of kidney transplantation.
Role: Co-Investigator

Targeting BLyS/BAFF in Non-Human Primate

08/01/12 - 07/31/2018
The goal of the application is to assess the efficacy of Blys/BAFF neutralization to promote B lymphocyte compartment tolerance in non-human primate recipients of islet allografts.
Role: PI

Integrated Islet Distribution Program

07/02/14 - 06/30/2018      
The major goal of this Islet Cell Resource (ICR) application is the isolation, quality assessment and distribution of human pancreatic islets for transplantation into patients with type I insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and for basic research in diabetes.
Role: PI

Completed Research Support

B-Lymphocyte Immunotherapy in Islet Transplantation

09/01/04 - 07/31/17
The major goal of this clinical islet transplantation (CIT) program is implementation of a novel induction immunotherapy targeting T lymphocyte compartment to promote islet allograft survival in 2 patient cohorts 1) islet transplantation in subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus complicated by hypoglycemic unawareness, islet alone (IA); and 2) islet transplantation in diabetic subjects with previous renal transplant, islet after kidney (IAK).

Immunosuppression with Antithymocyte Globulin, Rituximab, Tacrolimus and Sirolimus, Followed by Withdrawal of Tacrolimus and Sirolimus, in Living Donor Renal Transplant Recipients

05/01/10 - 05/01/17
The goal of this clinical trial is to assess the efficacy of a combined B and T cell immunotherapy for induction of renal transplant tolerance
Role: Site PI at Penn

Biomarkers of progression in the at risk setting for type 1 diabetes

12/01/14 – 11/30/15
We studied serum samples from at risk subjects enrolled in TrialNet, which provided stage dependent samples ideal for characterizing and profiling beta cell specific exosomes.
Role: Co-PI

Epigenomic Profiling of Normal and Diabetic Pancreatic Beta Cells

07/01/09 – 06/30/14
The major goal of this program is to produce a high-resolution map of epigenetic marks of human beta cells from normal controls and type 2 diabetic patients.
Role: Co-Investigator