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Keynote Address

Monday November 02, 2020 - 19:40 to 20:15


Using Stem Cells to Make Designer Islets for Diabetics

Douglas Melton, United States

Xander University Professor
Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Harvard University


We devised a directed differentiation protocol that produces functional beta cells from human stem cells.  The resulting cell clusters contain alpha cells, delta cells, enterochromaffin cells and other cell types in addition to beta cells.  New experiments aim to genetically modify the cells, and the protocol, to produce functional islets of a defined composition, including the ability to evade immune rejection.



Douglas Melton, Ph.D. Dr. Melton is the Xander University Professor at Harvard, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He also serves, with his wife, Gail, as Faculty Dean of Eliot House at Harvard. Dr. Melton’s laboratory studies how cell differentiation is directed during development, with a particular focus on the genes and cells that make pancreatic tissue, with the goal of making pancreatic cells for transplantation into diabetics. Dr Melton is a co-founder of Gilead Sciences and founded Semma Therapeutics.

Presentations by Douglas Melton

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