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DRI Investigators Presenting their Work at IPITA in Prague   

by Diabetes Research Institute on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 10:47am on T1 Diabetes Cure - Global Headquarters and Diabetes Research Institute Facebook pages.

Hello all- Hope your Thursday is off to a good start. As you may have read on the group's wall, yesterday began the 13th World Congress of IPITA, the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association. The meetings are taking place in the city of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.

Several DRI investigators are attending and presenting their work. Among the presentations, Dr. Camillo Ricordi, DRI’s scientific director, is chairing a session with Dr. James Shapiro of Edmonton, Canada, titled “Clinical islet transplantation: New frontiers.” Dr. Ricordi is also presenting “Cell Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes: From Treatment of a Few Towards a Cure for All.” In these talks, he discusses the multidisciplinary and integrated research being conducted to address the remaining challenges in sustaining the biological replacement of insulin producing cells.

Dr. Antonello Pileggi, director of the DRI’s Preclinical Cell Processing and Translational Models Program at the Cell Transplant Center, is presenting progress on the development of the biohybrid devices to house insulin-producing and other cells.  The use of scaffolds, as described in earlier posts, and potential biocompatible “containers” will allow researchers to create new implant sites for cell replacement as well as further protect these cells from immune attack.  Dr. Pileggi will also be presenting the benefit of combination therapy including an anti-oxidant to prevent inflammation and rejection at the transplant site.  In addition, he is co-chairing a workshop on Islet Immuno-isolation and Quality Assessment of the Islet Preparation.

Dr. George Burke, co-director of the Division of Transplantation, is presenting the results of his collaborative study with Dr. Alberto Pugliese, head of Immunogenetics at the DRI. Their presentation, highlighted in the “best abstracts” category, describes the specific auto-antibodies responsible for the recurrence of diabetes in kidney-pancreas transplant recipients.  They clearly showed the distinct difference between rejection and the recurrence of autoimmunity and were able to measure specific antibodies that were re-activated toward the insulin-producing cells while the other transplant tissue remained healthy and functioning.

Dr. Eduardo Peixoto from the DRI’s Clinical Cell Transplant Program will describe the effects of exenatide in islet transplant recipients.  Dr. Peixoto received a special award and invitation from IPITA to present at this Congress.

At the conclusion of the Congress, a summary of oral presentations and posters will be available.  We will update you once we have the information.


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