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Beta Cell Biology Consortium

The Beta Cell Biology Consortium (BCBC) is a team science initiative that was established by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in 2001 (RFA DK-01-014), and competitively continued in 2005 (RFA’s DK-01-17, DK-01-18). Currently, the BCBC consists of 29 scientists, the majority of whom participate as either Principal or Co-Principal Investigators on eight U-01 and two U-19 projects. In addition, scientists from two intramural NIDDK laboratories are involved.

Activities within the BCBC are overseen by both NIDDK staff members and participating scientists. A Steering Committee, which consists of all Principal Investigators, meets on a semi-annual basis. An Executive Committee meets monthly by teleconference. An External Advisory Board serves to provide objective scientific input and guidance.

A Coordinating Center located at Vanderbilt University provides the organizational infrastructure for the BCBC. Its primary objectives are to 1) facilitate interactions and communication by organizing meetings and retreats, distributing announcements, and maintaining a website with databases of vital research resources; 2) support research within the BCBC by organizing core facilities and, when necessary, developing new cores; 3) jumpstart new research by young investigators through a Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Grant Program; and 4) bring different groups of scientists together within the BCBC through a Program of Collaborative Bridging Projects.

Many of the BCBC investigator-initiated projects involve reagent-generating activities that will benefit the larger scientific community. The combination of programs and activities that, together comprise the BCBC, should accelerate the pace of major new discoveries and progress within the field of beta cell biology