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.
Does islet size really influence graft function following clinical islet transplantation?
Hughes SJ. et al, (2018), Transplantation
Characterisation of collagen VI within the islet-exocrine interface of the human pancreas: implications for clinical islet isolation?
Hughes SJ. et al, (2006), Transplantation, 81, 423 - 426