For the past 30 years, my career has focused on transplantation in diabetes – particularly the use of encapsulation.

I studied the immunology of encapsulated cell transplants between species (xenografts) and within species (allografts) and became involved in a Baxter Healthcare (USA) team that resulted in the invention of the TheraCyte immunoisolation system for transplantation of allogeneic cells without the need for immunosuppression. I co-founded the company “TheraCyte” in 1999, which incorporated the Baxter technology. I have 14 years’ industry experience, leading and working with teams of scientists and engineers in applied research, taking medical technology from the laboratory to clinical application.

Moving to SVI in 2005, I established an islet isolation facility for a clinical islet transplant program for type 1 diabetes patients with severe hypoglycemic unawareness. This program, now funded through the Australian Department of Health, has resulted in more than 100 islet transplants into patients. More recently, with the Royal Adelaide Hospital, we have been working on establishing Total Pancreatectomy – Islet Auto Transplant as a medical procedure in Australia.

My interest and work on encapsulation devices has continued over the past 10 years, with collaborator and colleague, Professor Klearchos Papas at the University of Arizona. At SVI, I am involved in two projects, using encapsulation: (1) to protect transplanted adrenal cells for treating adrenal insufficiency; and (2) for protecting transplanted mesenchymal stem cells producing therapeutic factors for heart repair.

During the past five years, I have authored 27 papers which have been published in highly regarded journals, including: Nature Medicine, Nature Immunology, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Diabetes, Transplantation and Journal of Immunology.

Key achievements

2021   Co-inventor of synthetic membrane implantable devices that induce neovascularisation at the interface between the implant, containing tissue that releases a therapeutic protein and the recipient’s subcutaneous tissue

2005   Established SVI’s Islet Isolation Program for Islet transplantation, resulting in more than 100 islet transplants into Australian patients

1999   Founded a start-up company by spinning out the Baxter Healthcare Technology. Was Chief Scientific Officer and submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) Application of encapsulated islets to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

1996 & 1997   Recipient of Baxter Healthcare Corporation Patent Awards

1992   Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand; SANDOZ Young Investigator Award

1988   Research Fellow at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Selected publications

Kompa A.R., Greening D.W., Kong A.M., McMillan P.J., Fang H., Saxena R., Wong R.C.B., Lees J.G., Sivakumaran P., Newcomb A.E., Tannous B.A., Kos C., Mariana L., Loudovaris, T., Hausenloy D.J., Lim S.Y. Sustained subcutaneous delivery of secretome of human cardiac stem cells promotes cardiac repair following myocardial infarction. Cardiovasc Res.Volume 117, Issue 3, 1 March 2021, Pages 918–929. PMCID: PMC7898942109093119

Bampton T.J., Holmes-Walker D.J., Drogemuller C.J., Radford T., Anderson P., Etherton C., Russell C.H., Khurana S., Torpy D.J., Couper J.J., Couper R.L.T., Macintyre P., Neo E.L., Benitez-Aguirre P, Thomas G, Loudovaris, T., Thomas HE, Palmer LJ, Wu D, Rogers NM, Williams L, Hawthorne W.J., O’Connell P.J., Kay T.W., Pleass H., Chen J.W., Coates P.T. Australian Islet Consortium. Australian experience with total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation to treat chronic pancreatitis. ANZ J Surg. 2021 Dec;91(12):2663-2668. PMID: 33956377

Holmes-Walker D.J., Gunton J.E., Payk M., Donath S., Hawthorne W.J., Loudovaris, T., Anderson P., Ward G.M., Kay T.W., O’Connell P.J. Islet transplantation provides superior glycemic control with less hypoglycemia compared to continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) or multiple daily insulin injections (MDI). Transplantation 2017 Jun;101(6):1268-1275.

Marathe C.S., Drogemuller C.J., Marathe J.A., Loudovaris, T., Hawthorne W.J., O’Connell P.J., Radford T., Kay T.W., Horowitz M., Coates P.T., Torpy D.J. Islet cell transplantation in Australia: screening, remote transplantation, and incretin hormone secretion in insulin independent patients. Horm Metab Res 2015; 47(01): 16-23. PMID: 25350521

Tibell, A., Raffael, E., Wennberg, L., Nordenstrom, J., Bergstrom, M., Geller, R.L., Loudovaris, T., Johnson, R.C., Brauker, J.H., Neuenfeldt, S. and Wernerson, A. Survival of macroencapsulated allogeneic parathyroid tissue one year after transplantation in nonimmunosuppressed humans. Cell Transplantation 10(7): 591-599, 2001. PMID: 11714193

Loudovaris, T., Jacobs, S., Young, S., Maryanov, D., Brauker, J., and Johnson, R.C. Correction of diabetic NOD mice with insulinomas implanted within Baxter immunoisolation devices. Journal of Molecular Medicine, 77: 219-222, 1999. PMID: 9930967

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