Research

Learn more about DRIFCan-funded research and lend your support.

Dr. James Shapiro maintains an active research and development lab at the Alberta Diabetes Institute(ADI). His Clinical Islet Transplant Program has done over 600 transplants, more than any other islet program around the world. He and his team have many clinical trials including human trials. He collaborates with researchers around the world including with the San Diego based regenerative medicine company, Viacyte for stem cell transplants.

DRIFCan Research Projects

Clinical Islet Transplantation: The “Edmonton Protocol”

The Edmonton Protocol is an Islet Transplant procedure first devised in the late 1990s at the University of Alberta and published in the The New England Journal of Medicine in July 2000. The Protocol involves transplanting islet cells from a donated pancreas into the liver of the recipient.

Dr. Shapiro’s 2018 Research Update

Dr. Shapiro’s April 2017 Research Presentation

Stem Cell-Derived Islet Replacement Therapy

The Edmonton Protocol’s successes led to a partnership with ViaCyte, a pioneering company in the domain of stem cell reproduction.

Unlike islet cells, stem cells, once transplanted and producing insulin, are capable of fulfilling patients’ insulin requirements without risk of rejection or a lifetime of immunosuppressive medications.

Early trials are showing considerable success. If approved, this treatment may bring the world far closer to a real cure for diabetes.

Plerixafor Trial

To reset the immune system and mobilize your own stem cells using a combination of medications.

ViaCyte Trial

To improve insulin production by implanting a type of stem cells in a device under the skin.

PolyTreg Trial

To improve islet transplant outcomes with the infusion of your own T-reg cells (a type of white blood cells that help regulate your immune system).

How To Participate in Human Trials

Doctors are evaluating a new treatment for people with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) designed to reset the immune system and restore the cells which make insulin. You may qualify if you are between 12-45 years old and have been diagnosed with T1D within the last 6 months.

To participate or to learn more, please call (780) 492-2709, email [email protected], or visit the University of Alberta Clinical Islet Transplant Program page and click on the Volunteer link.