Cores: IPA

Islet and Pancreas Analysis (IPA) Core


The Islet and Pancreas Analysis (IPA) Core assists VDRC’s large group of renowned and collaborative investigators who are studying a broad spectrum of islet-related processes, ranging from the function of islet-enriched factors and intracellular signaling to in vivo physiology and maintenance of hormone secretory profiles. VDRC investigators, with the assistance of the IPA Core, are performing sophisticated functional, genetic, and molecular-level comparisons to various physiological stresses in islets (aging, predisposing genetic abnormalities, etc.) that underlie or profoundly influence both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


  • Need mouse islets isolated? Follow steps below to set up your iLab account, then fill out a request form in iLab.


  • Planning islet perifusion or static incubation experiments? Please fill out this form and we will contact you to discuss your experimental needs.


  • Need access to slide scanners? Follow steps below to set up your iLab account, then get in touch to schedule a training session.


  • Submitting a grant proposing use of IPA Core? Please e-mail Diane to request a Letter of Support (LOS), providing your application title and brief description of proposed experiments.

Existing users:


Reserve equipment or request services

NEW! View IPA protocols on

Please acknowledge our core:

[Procedure] was performed using the Islet and Pancreas Analysis (IPA) Core supported by the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research Center (NIH grant DK20593).




New IPA Core users


Please complete the steps below before requesting services.

  1. Register for an iLab account, if you don't already have one. Click here >> (Scroll down to 'iLab Account Registration')


  2. Make sure you have an active billing number associated with your account. Click here >> (Look for 'VUMC iLab Guide for VUMC Investigators, Lab Staff and Departments')


Imaging Quick Links


PDF icon  Download the ScanScope FL user guide

HALO icon  Access HALO tutorials


More about our imaging services


Islet Isolation Calendar 🐭


You may request islet isolations (up to 6 mice/day) for any date labeled Available by filling out a request in iLab link icon



Services and Additional Information



    📝How do I cite the IPA Core in my publication?

    We really appreciate when you acknowledge the IPA Core in manuscripts! At minimum, please use the following text:

    [Procedure, e.g., islet isolation, slide scanning, islet functional analysis] was performed using the Islet and Pancreas Analysis (IPA) Core supported by the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research Center (NIH grant DK20593).


    🔬How do I access whole-slide scanning equipment?

    Trained users can reserve time through their iLab account (see these instructions if you are not yet registered). Your PI or lab manager must also add a center number or PO to your profile for billing (request form here; requests are typically processed within 24 hours). To request training, see below.


    🔬How do I get trained to use IPA Core scanners?

    Both scanners require two training sessions on separate days, the second of which is performed using the trainee's own slides. Training sessions are 1-2 hours (1 hour for brightfield scanner, ScanScope CS; 2 hours for fluorescence scanner, ScanScope FL). After you complete the steps above to activate your iLab account and add billing information, please send an e-mail to Anastasia Coldren ( with the following information to schedule your training:

    1. Trainee's VUnet ID
    2. Trainee's employee number
    3. Billing cost center ($49/hour)

    Your access to the scanner room (8434 MRB4) will be activated after successful completion of your training.



    Meet the IPA Core Team:




    Marcela Brissova, PhD

    IPA Core Director

    Research Professor of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism
    Director, Human Islet Phenotyping Program (HIPP) of IIDP

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    Diane Saunders, PhD

    IPA Core Co-Director

    Research Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism

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    Anastasia Coldren

    Senior Research Specialist


    envelope icon E-mail Ana




    Corey Davis

    Research Assistant III


    envelope icon E-mail Corey




    Shaojun Mei

    Senior Research Specialist


    envelope icon E-mail Mei







    The IPA Core offers a range of services in partnership with the VDRC. Our services include:

    • Mouse islet isolation
    • Islet perifusion
    • Static Islet incubation
    • Islet culture
    • Islet number, purity, and viability measurements
    • Islet RNA isolation
    • Whole-slide scanning and image analysis
    • Islet and pancreas histological analysis

    We also work closely with the Hormone Assay and Analytical Services Core (ASC) and the Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center (MMPC) to meet the needs of our customers.


Featured Publications

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journal cover



icon  Excitotoxicity and overnutrition additively impair metabolic function and identity of pancreatic β-cells

Osipovich AB, Stancill JS, Cartailler JP, Dudek KD, Magnuson MA


icon  Myt transcription factors prevent stress-response gene overactivation to enable postnatal pancreatic β cell proliferation, function, and survival

Hu R, Walker E, Huang C, Xu Y, Weng C, Erickson GE, Coldren A, Yang X, Brissova M, Kaverina I, Appakalai BN, Wright CVE, Li Y, Stein R, Gu G


icon  Beta cell secretion of miR-375 to HDL is inversely associated with insulin secretion

Sedgeman LR, Beysen C, Marisol A, Solano MAR, Michell DL, Sheng Q, Zhao S, Turner S, Linton MF, Vickers KC