“My goal is to design new therapeutics with strong clinical translation to help people with type 1 diabetes.”

Alice Tomei, Ph.D.

Alice Tomei is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami and the Director of the Islet Immunoengineering Laboratory at the Diabetes Research Institute.

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Dr. Tomei’s background uniquely combines expertise in bioengineering and immunology. She is applying her skills to the development of novel immunoengineering platforms to prevent rejection after islet transplantation and to promote antigen-specific tolerance for a cure of type 1 diabetes. To that end, her strategy is to design and develop novel technology platforms with strong clinical translation potential that are supported by solid mechanistic studies in preclinical models of type 1 diabetes that are relevant to the human disease. Her enthusiastic commitment to type 1 diabetes cure-focused research is matched by a solid track record of academic achievements and translational efforts.

She has trained in the best engineering school in Italy, the Politecnico di Milano. Then, she conducted her PhD work at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, under the mentorship of Dr. Melody Swartz, world leader in lymphatic and cancer mechanobiology. Then, Dr. Tomei conducted her postdoctoral fellowship at EPFL in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Hubbell, world leader in molecular engineering, and in collaboration with Dr. Cherie Stabler, a leader in diabetes bioengineering research.

In recognition of these accomplishments, in 2012, Dr. Tomei was invited to become part of the prestigious Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) encapsulation consortium, which gathers the world leaders in islet encapsulation and transplantation, and promotes collaborations, sharing of data and protocols with the overall goal of advancing the field.

Dr. Tomei has presented her research work at several international conferences, including an invited oral presentation at the Key Opinion Leaders Meeting on Stem Cell Derived Beta Cells at Harvard Medical School in Boston in October 2016, an oral presentation at the annual meeting of the Immunology of Diabetes Society in San Francisco in January 2017, an invited oral presentation at the annual meeting of the international society for cellular therapy (ISCT) in London in May 2017, and an invited oral presentation at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego in June 2017. Finally, she was invited to serve as member of the grant review panels for both the JDRF and for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Dr. Tomei’s research has been funded by the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, the Iacocca Family Foundation, the JDRF, the Helmsley Trust, the Tronchetti Provera Foundation, the Children with Diabetes Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the National Institute of Health, including a recently awarded JDRF career development award and a NIH R01. In recognition of her research productivity, Dr. Tomei was awarded the Eliahu I. Jury Early Career Research Award for obtaining major research grants in 2016. These important achievements further highlight her recognition in the field of immunoengineering for type-1 diabetes..

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Visit: TomeiLab.com

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