Mariana Oliveira wins Dr. Bragança Parreira / Roche 2022 grant from SPD
2022-03-25
Portuguese Society of Diabetology distinguishes an innovative project in the field of technology in diabetes where new devices based on stem cells are explored.

The project "Devices based on mesenchymal stem cells as inducers of localized immunosuppression in the context of allogeneic pancreatic islet transplantation", led by the researcher Mariana B. Oliveira, won the grant in the area of Technologies for Diabetes in the "Bolsas e Prémios 2022" competition from Portuguese Society Diabetology (SPD): https://www.spd.pt/#/vencedores-premios-e-bolsas-spd-2022.

The proposed approach aims to test the effectiveness of cell-based devices in promoting the acceptance of pancreatic islet transplants from donors other than the self (allogeneic transplant). Pancreatic islet transplantation, still considered a mostly experimental technique and with success limited to a few years post-transplantation, is recommended for diabetic individuals with high difficulty in controlling blood glucose through the administration of exogenous insulin. The proposed strategy aims at substantially reducing or eliminating the use of systemic immunosuppressants by transplant patients. These types of drugs are taken throughout the life of patients to prevent rejection of the transplanted tissue. However, continued use is associated with high toxicity, as well as side effects that include immune suppression states associated with increased susceptibility to infections and oncological diseases, among other serious illnesses.

The work that will be carried out within the scope of this scholarship is directly related to the doctoral plan of the student Ana Rita Sousa.

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