Department of Translational Research & Cellular Therapeutics

Islet Cells
The Department of Translational Research & Cellular Therapeutics, led by Fouad Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D.,  has translated landmark scientific discoveries into treatments that have improved the lives of diabetic patients around the world.  The expansion of the Leslie & Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes & Genetic Research Center has enabled us to bolster our efforts in the fight against diabetes simultaneously on multiple fronts: from developmental research starting in our laboratories to clinical investigations to innovative patient care.
 
We focus on stem cell biology and development, translational immunology, islet isolation and distribution, islet quality assessment, islet imaging, islet encapsulation and isolation, and new drug discoveries.
 
Our Research Highlights
  • "Artificial Pancreas": We are developing a mobile device that combines a live glucose monitor with an automatic insulin delivery pump system. This “artificial pancreas” will free patients from periodic self-monitoring, as well as allow more accurate control of blood glucose levels. City of Hope researchers are working with the device manufacturer to optimize performance, and preparations are being made to test the device in newly transplanted islet recipients in order to provide maximum protection of islets from the harmful effects of high blood sugar.
  • Islet Cell Transplantation: City of Hope is conducting clinical trials to study the safety and effectiveness of  islet transplantation as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. City of Hope performed its first islet transplantation in 2004 and performed dozens more in the Islet Transplantation Alone and Islet After Kidney Transplantation trials. The current T cell-depleting trial will help answer the question of whether temporarily reducing or eliminating the recipient’s T cells at the time of islet transplantation will improve short- and long-term transplant results in patients with type 1 diabetes.
  • Islet Cell Imaging: Imaging islet cells within the body is greatly needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying type 1 diabetes development and monitor islet cells following transplant. New cell-imaging approaches developed at City of Hope have been used to track islet cell survival and function in animal models and have been successfully applied in a human case of pancreatic tumor.
  • Cost-effective Diabetes Management: There is a global need for a low-cost solution to simplify diabetes management and minimize time spent on expensive and unstructured treatment plans. City of Hope is collaborating with diabetes clinicians and scientists in Europe to develop the ADAMS (Adaptive Diabetes Algorithm Managements System) software. ADAMS is designed to generate an automated, interventional treatment plan tailored to each patient. It takes into account culturally relevant dietary and behavioral issues and has the potential to streamline the efficiency of diabetes care around the world.
Laboratory Research
 
Chair and professor, Department of Clinical Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism
Chair, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics
 
Ismail Al-Abdullah, Ph.D. 
Research professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics
 
Assistant Professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics
 
Kevin Ferreri, Ph.D.
Associate research professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics
 
Associate professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics
 
Research professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics
 
Assistant professor, Department of Translational Research and Cellular Therapeutics