Dr. Naren and Dr. Helmrath, will direct this Core. Dr. Naren currently heads the CF Human Model Systems Core for the CF-RDP and is a leader in the field of CF and GI-Physiology. Dr. Helmrath is currently the director of the human intestinal repository and culture facility at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He is a leader in the field of pediatric intestinal surgery and developed methods for therapeutic transplant of intestinal stem cells and engineered tissues. Dr. James Wells will serve as co-director. Dr. Wells is the director of the human pluripotent stem cell facility (PSCF) at Cincinnati Children's and a leader in the fields of embryonic endoderm organogenesis and directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) into gastrointestinal tissues. Dr. Naren is a leading expert in developing novel assays for studying CFTR channel. He developed a high-content microscopic platform to study fluid homeostasis in intestinal stem cells at Cincinnati Children's.

The Core will provide inexhaustible sources of patient-specific (CF and non-CF individuals) organoids and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) from fibroblasts and tissues from gut biopsies to develop gut and endocrine pancreas. This Core will develop various fluid secretion assays and strategies of expansion, distribution, and banking of these organoids and iPS cells. It is to be noted that the core will also be in a position to supply nasal, airway and pancreatic ductal organoids; however in this grant proposal we will emphasize on the gut organoids. This Core will serve the research interests at Cincinnati Children's and external investigators.