Young Investigator Committee

The Members of the Young Investigator Committee are:

  • Takayuki Anazawa
  • Sarah Cross
  • Leticia Labriola
  • Raphael Meier
  • Robert Redfield
  • Hanne Scholz
  • Christian Schuetz
  • Nathan Zammit
Anazawa

Takayuki Anazawa

Dr. Takayuki Anazawa is an assistant professor of Division of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery and Transplantation, Department of Surgery, at the Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan. He had the privilege of working in islet core laboratory in Schulze Diabetes Institute of University of Minnesota in 2007. He worked with Prof. Bernhard Hering and Dr. Balamurugan for 2 years until the completion of his post-doctoral research under their supervision. Given the quality of the work in their laboratory, he has received multiple training in pancreas procurement, pancreas dissection, pancreas digestion, islet purification, culture and transplantation.

As a direct result of his successful fellowship, he was recruited as an assistant professor at the Fukushima Medical University to work with a research team led by Prof Mitsukazu Gotoh. Then, he became the key organizer of Japanese Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association. After his fourteen-year career as a surgeon and researcher of islet transplantation, he was recruited as an assistant professor at the Kyoto University to work with Prof Shinji Uemoto in April 2015. He is collaborating on a clinical trial to establish islet transplantation using both donors after cardiac death and donors after brain death.

Sarah Cross

Sarah Cross

Sarah has spent the last 13 years as a researcher working in the field of islet transplantation. My PhD investigated the biology of VEGF as a survival factor for human islets, and how different immunosuppressive drugs modulated its effect. I trained in human islet isolation during my PhD, and since graduating I have worked as a post-doctoral scientist in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford. My research concerns the improvement and optimisation of the human islet isolation procedure, in particular the collagenase digestion stage. I am deputy manager of the Oxford Human Islet Isolation Facility, and as such I am involved in every stage of the human islet isolation and transplantation process, with the benefit of having regular access to human islets for my research. As part of the Young Investigator Committee I am responsible for IPITA social media and the young investigator section of the IPITA website.

Leticia Labriola

Leticia Labriola

Leticia is currently an Assistant Professor at the Laboratory of Molecular Mecanisms of cytoprotection, Chemistry Institute, Biochemistry Department, University of São Paulo- Brazil. Her research focuses on the study of the molecular mechanisms leading to cytoprotection. In particular, she is interested in the optimization of pancreatic islet transplantation where her lab set out to study the molecular mechanisms leading to beta-cell cytoprotection induced by the hormone prolactin. She is also exploring the potential cytoprotective and immunoprotective effect of adult stem cells in co-transplantation approaches.

Raphael Meier

Raphael Meier

Raphael is a resident surgeon and researcher working in the field of transplantation and diabetes. He currently works as a senior resident in Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland, within the Division of Visceral and Transplant Surgery. He divides his time between clinical and research activities with a special focus on islet and pancreas transplantation. He is a member of the team of the Cell Isolation and Transplantation Center at Geneva University Hospitals which performs >50 pancreas isolations/year. His current research interests are clinical islet/pancreas transplantation; stem cell-based immunomodulation, new immunosuppressive drug development, alternative sites for islet transplantation, islet microencapsulation, islet xenotransplantation, and age, genetic and proteomic aspects in pancreas donor selection for islet/pancreas transplantation.

Robert Redfield

Robert Redfield

Robert is an assistant professor of transplant surgery at the University of Wisconsin. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland Medical School. He completed his general surgical residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in the lab of Ali Naji, MD, PhD. He completed his abdominal transplant surgery training at the University of Wisconsin in 2015. He was recently awarded the ASTS junior faculty development award for research focusing on the role of B cells and alloantibody in transplantation. His clinical focus is on kidney and pancreas transplantation.

Hanne Scholze

Hanne Scholz

Hanne is the head of the Cell Transplantation Research and the Islet Isolation Facility at the Institute for Surgical Research at Oslo University Hospital, Norway. Hanne has dedicated her research to islet transplantation, focused on refinement of methods for islets isolation and to improve outcomes of islet transplantation as treatment for type 1 diabetes. She is excited to be a part of the IPITA Young Investigator Committee.

Schuetz

Christian Schuetz

Christian is a physician-scientist working at Harvard University whose current research interests include the immunogenicity and derivation of pancreatic beta cells from iPS cells, modulation of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes and immunologic tolerance. In his clinical career, he has focused extensively on general surgery, emergency medicine and surgical intensive care. Following initial work on neurogenesis in the context of neurotrauma, his focus soon evolved to the field of transplant surgery and curative type 1 diabetes research. To pursue these interests he moved to Harvard University and joined Professor James Markmann’s group, where he helped establish the clinical islet transplant program at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as conducting research in islet biology and transplant immunology. He has also worked in Professor Douglas Melton’s lab, deriving beta cells from human pluripotent cells for clinical translation.

Nathan Zammit

Nathan Zammit

Nathan is interested in studying how non-hematopoietic tissue interact with innate and adaptive immunity during the inflammatory processes of diabetes and islet transplantation. He currently works at the Garvan Institute, Sydney, Australia, within the laboratory of Professor Shane Grey, where they are undertaking a functional genomics approach into the study of type 1 diabetic compliations. The goal of this study is to discover novel genes that may be used to facilitate the development of genetic or pharmacological therpies to ameliorate diabetes progression or islet transplant rejection.