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James Shapiro studied Medicine in Newcastle where he developed an interest in islet transplantation. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Transplantation Surgery and Regenerative Medicine, and directs the Clinical Islet Transplant Program at the UofA. He was the lead investigator on the famous “Edmonton Protocol." Working with ViaCyte, he is involved with first in human trials with embryonic stem cell derived insulin producing cells transplanted in an immunoisolation device.
Develop strategies to optimize islet transplantation and beta-cell replacement therapies with the potential for clinical translation.
Islet preparations that fall below this critical islet mass or that are awaiting a suitable recipient/tissue-typing are not chosen for transplant. These islet preparations require storage depending on the lag time, to transplant islet may be stored in short-term via or indefinitely using cryo¬preservation in liquid nitrogen. We studied recovery, cell death, and cell composition of post-thaw cultured human islets provided by the Clinical Islet Transplant Program, Edmonton, Canada. We examined islets were processed using media prepared in accordance with Pre-Edmonton and Edmonton protocols. The Edmonton protocol appears to preserve the islets better. However, culture duration adversely affects islet survival and quality, indicating the need for more optimal cryopreservation and culture techniques (Priya et al, Islets 2013).