Ismail Al-Abdullah, Ph.D.

  • Research Professor, Department of Translational Research & Cellular Therapeutics

Ismail Al-Abdullah, Ph.D.

  • 2004 - present, Research Professor, Department of Translational Research & Cellular Therapeutics, Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2000 - 2004, Assistant Professor, Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
  • 1999 - 2000, Visiting Professor of Surgery, Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
  • 1996 - 1999, Associate Professor and director of Transplant Research Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1991 - 1996, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1990 - 1991, Assistant Professor (Sabbatical leave), Department of Pathology, Hospital for Children, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 1984 - 1990, Assistant Professor, Dept. Of Organ Transplantation, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University & Hammed Al-Essa Kidney and Organ Transplant Center, Kuwait
  • 1984 - 1990, Director, Transplantation Immunology Laboratory, Hammad El?Essa Kidney and Organ Transplant Teaching Center, Kuwait
  • Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research (Institute)


  • Ph.D.
  • 1982, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland, Ph.D. Immunology
  • 1972, University of Basrah, Iraq, B.S. Microbiology and Zoology

Coating Human Islets with Macromolecular Heparin

This project is carried out in collaboration with University of Uppsala Sweden.  Achieving successful reversal of diabetes with minimum Heparin precoated islet mass would have a major impact in translating the result generated from this study to clinical practice to use islet isolated from a single donor to reverse a single type 1 diabetic recipient.

Growth Factors in Culture Media Supplement to Improve Islet Quality and Quantity

This proposal will test the hypothesis that culturing islets in serum free medium supplemented with growth factors such as gastrin, EGF and exendin can promote islet function, yields; promote proliferation of islet progenitor cells to ultimate transplantation of islets from a single donor.

The Role of alpha-glutathione S-transferase (α-GST) in Human Islets

The ultimate goal of this study is to develop a simple, fast and reliable biomarker to monitor islet function and survival. Based on our feasibility study that islets are indeed contain and secrete α-GST. This novel biomarker will be used to monitor islet function during the isolation and post culture. We intend to use this biomarker to monitor islet integrity and develop the best conditions for islet recovery and survival post transplant.

Collaboration with the University of Uppsala

Our main focus on this collaboration is to further improve our islet isolation procedure for enhancing and improving islet quality so that a single diabetic patient could be transplanted and reverse diabetes with islets isolated from a single donor.

Collaboration on Non-Human Primate Islet Transplantation Protocol

We have initiated this collaboration with Dr. Defu Zeng and University of Maryland for induction of tolerance in the recipients. Donor pancreas from non-human primate was shipped and the isolated islets when transplanted into diabetic mice, diabetes were reversed.  The outcome of this study results obtain from this study will have major impact for FDA approval for eventual application of novel strategies for tolerance induction to cure type 1 diabetic patients with islets isolated from cadaveric donors.

Development of Novel Peptide for Collagenase and Neutral Protease Activities

Collaboration with Dr. Markus Kalkum from the immunology department at City of Hope has been established and we have already developed a novel peptide for collagenase and neutral protease activities assessment to define a better enzymes for pancreas digestion to free the islets for ultimate goal to transplant islets into a single diabetic recipient isolated from a single cadaveric donor pancreas.

Luis Valiente
Senior Research Associate
626-246-HOPE (4673) ext. 65639

Shiela Bilbao
Research Associate II
626-246-HOPE (4673) ext. 61410

Alina Oancea, M.D.
Research Associate II
626-246-HOPE (4673) ext. 63923

Brian McFadden
626-246-HOPE (4673) ext. 33101
Research Associate I

Ir al Inicio