Aileen King

Aileen King


  • Reader in Diabetes & Integrative Physiology, SCMMS Guys
    • 3137

    Personal profile

    Research interests (short)

    • Improving islet function and survival in islet transplantation
    • Encapsulation strategies for islet transplantation

    Research interests

    Improving islet transplantation outcome

    Pancreatic islet transplantation is a therapy for Type 1 diabetes which can give patients good blood glucose control without having to inject insulin. However it is an inefficient process with most patients requiring islets from more than one pancreas to reverse their hyperglycaemia. To increase the number of people who could be treated by this method, it would be desirable to increase the function of islets to make them more efficient after transplantation. We have several strategies to do this:

    •  Treating the islets in culture with pharmacological agents which could be beneficial to islet survival
    •  Administration of a pharmacological agent after transplantation which could be beneficial to islet survival.
    •  Co-transplantation of islets with cells beneficial to islet transplantation outcome (e.g. Mesenchymal Stem Cells).

    Transplantation of islets in the absence of immune suppression

    Immune suppression, which is required to protect the islet graft from rejection, is associated with many side effects. These side effects limit the number of patients who can benefit from islet transplantation. One of our goals is to be able to transplant islets in the absence of immune suppression. To do this we encapsulate islets in biocompatible materials, which essentially prevent immune cells from making contact with the graft, but still allow smaller molecules such as nutrients and insulin to pass through easily.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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