At Dakota Lions Sight & Health, we are proud to partner with local and national organizations to further medical advances and education by providing tissue for research. Research use of donated tissue is specifically authorized and every effort to provide transplantable tissue is made. We currently recover research tissue from about 90 donors each year.
About Research Donation
Unlike transplantable tissues, there are generally no restrictions when it comes to research donation. A history of communicable disease does not preclude donation for research and in many circumstances, scientists and doctors need affected tissue in order to investigate treatments.
Human tissue has proven to be much more relevant than animal models in studying human disease. As scientists proceed through their studies and get closer to therapies and cures, donation to benefit research is critical.
The Research Donation Process
The donation process is the same for research tissues as it is for ocular and non-ocular tissue. During the screening process, our Donation Coordinators will ask the donor family about research. If research is authorized, we will dispatch our recovery technicians to recover the tissue. If transplant tissue is also being recovered from the same donor, the transplant tissue is recovered first to ensure the highest possible transplant outcomes and recipient safety.
We work directly with organizations and researchers to provide the tissue in a timely manner. Local researchers work directly with us and we also work with a national organization who places research tissues throughout the United States.
Our Research Partners
We work with the following organizations to help restore sight and health by supporting their research efforts:
- National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI)
- Sanford Research / University of South Dakota
- Avera Research Institute / Alumend
- Vance Thompson Vision
- South Dakota State University / Avera Health
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology