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Pancreatic Islet Cell Biology Core


The objective of the Islet Cell Biology Core is to provide DRC members with state of the art support including experimental design, islet isolation, and performance of and/or training in an expansive range of assays for physiological and morphometric assessment of pancreatic islet function and growth. We offer support and guidance to help adapt existing technologies to solve unique problems that standard methodologies cannot address. Additionally, we foster collaborative initiatives that allow us to expand the services and support we can offer our users. For example, ongoing collaborations with researchers in the Physiology and Biophysics Department have allowed us to begin to develop new techniques to study membrane biophysics critical for understanding normal and diseased islet cells. 

Core Functions

Failure of insulin secreting pancreatic beta cells characterizes the progression of all forms of diabetes. The ICBC is thus positioned to contribute in a significant manner to the basic and translational research activities of the Institute of Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism (IDOM) at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. The ICBC has developed exceptional expertise in working with human and rodent pancreatic islet tissue, acquiring instrumentation, and establishing procedures that are not readily available to the average laboratory.


We offer a range of services that generally begin with islet isolation from rodent animal models and may be followed by a period of culture by the core for as long as 7 days. Islet hormone secretion can be assessed in static “batch” incubations or by more informative perifusions that require larger numbers of islets and expensive immunoassays, routinely for insulin and upon request for glucagon and cAMP. The core may provide these services in an ongoing manner or it may provide critical training to allow the investigator laboratory to perform the experiments independently over time. The core also has the advanced technology and expertise to perform individual islet and single cell fluorescence imaging (Cai 2+), respirometry with islet batches using a Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analyzer along with the BioTek Cytation 5 for Seahorse normalization, perifusion coupled with respirometry, and “closed” respirometry experiments for our investigators.


The Pancreatic Islet Cell Biology Core is supported by the University of Pennsylvania Diabetes Research Center (DRC) sponsored by an NIH grant P30-DK19525.  Please acknowledge this in your publications. Thank you!

Research Resource Identifier (RRID)

Our RRID is RRID:SCR_022411.  Please cite us using this identifier when publishing your results.


Name Title Email
Doris Stoffers, M.D, Ph.D. Director
Nicolai Doliba, Ph.D., Technical Director
Andrea Rozo, Ph.D. Assistant Technical Director
Wei Qin Research Specialist  
Jeffrey Roman Research Specialist  

Links and Resources

  1. Islet Cell Core Institution page
  2. RIA iLab Site
  3. Personnel Information
  4. Perfusion Guidelines
  5. Seahorse Guidelines


Name Role Phone Email Location
Andrea Rozo
Assistant Technical Director