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Stephen Hughes

BSc., PhD.

Islet Laboratory Lab Manager

  • Senior Postdoctoral Scientist

I am responsible for running the Clinical islet isolation facility. This is a purpose built, clean-room laboratory, licenced by the Human Tissue Authority for the aseptic production of pancreatic islet cells from cadaveric donor pancreases. The islets are used for transplantation in patients with Type 1 diabetes who have unstable diabetes with severe complications.

The facility operates to pharmaceutical grade GMP standards. I have to ensure that the facility meets all operational and environmental targets of cleanliness & sterility and that all the preparations used for transplant in turn meet strict production criteria.

When islets cannot be transplanted and where there is research consent, I coordinate their distribution for research purposes. They are used by several groups in Oxford and a network of laboratories across the UK.

My research centres on improving islet isolation, understanding the nature of the extracellular matrix at the islet-exocrine interface and its digestion by collagenase enzyme-blends. The goal is to be able to tailor the composition of the collagenase blend to different donor types and so optimise the yield of islets from all donors.