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Presenter Profile: Clinical Beta-Cell Replacement Therapy in the Near Future

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2024 Presenter Profiles

Clinical Beta-Cell Replacement Therapy in the Near Future

Saturday, June 22, at 8:00 a.m. ET
Room W414
Orange County Convention Center

(Livestream Available)


Materials to Prevent Immune Rejection

Alice A. Tomei, PhD
Alice A. Tomei, PhD

Alice A. Tomei, PhD

Associate Professor,
University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute

What is your presentation about?
I will give an overview of current limitations of islet transplantation for treatment of type 1 diabetes and how material can be used to address one of them. In specific, I will explain how biomaterials can be used to encapsulate islets before transplantation or for localized delivery of anti-rejection drugs in the islet transplant site to reduce and potentially even eliminate the need for chronic systemic immune suppression after islet transplantation.

How do you hope your presentation will impact diabetes research or care?
Most of the studies I will discuss are still in the preclinical testing phase and safety and efficacy in clinical studies still remains to be demonstrated. The potential of these biomaterial-based strategies is to reduce and potentially even eliminate the need for chronic systemic immune suppression after islet transplantation increasing safety and efficacy. In turn, this will enable clinicians to offer the islet transplantation procedure to more patients with type 1 diabetes.

How did you become involved with this area of diabetes research or care?
After obtaining my PhD in Biomedical Engineering I did my postdoc with Dr. Hubbell and started working on islet encapsulation with biomaterials in collaboration with the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute (UM DRI). I was so impressed with the environment and the scientific quality of the UM DRI and inspired by the patients and family we meet at the institute that I decided to dedicate my career to type 1 diabetes research.

Register Today for the 84th Scientific Sessions


Join us in Orlando for the 84th Scientific Sessions, June 21-24. Full in-person registration includes access to all of the valuable onsite content during the meeting and on-demand access to the virtual program June 25-Aug. 26. For those unable to join us in-person, we are planning a virtual program to allow as many people as possible to participate and learn about the latest advances in diabetes research, prevention, and care.