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Amy Hughes

I have recently received my PhD from the University of Adelaide in the field of diabetes, with a specialization in pancreatic islet transplantation and gene therapy and a doctoral thesis on the optimal delivery of therapeutic genes to pancreatic islets.

The early loss of functional islet mass (50 - 70%) due to apoptosis following clinical transplantation contributes to islet graft failure. My PhD studies have investigated the use of Insulin-like Growth factor-II (IGF-II) as an anti-apoptotic protein. Adenoviral-mediated over expression of IGF-II results in enhanced islet survival in vitro and in an in vivo islet transplant mouse model, indicating that strategies to combat apoptosis may improve islet function post-transplantation.


B.Sc.(Hons) PhD


2013 Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence, The University of Adelaide
2012 Pfizer Young Investigator Award, Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand, Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra
2012 Medical Staff Society Research Prize, Medical Grand Round, Royal Adelaide Hospital
2012 Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Travelling Fellowship, University of Adelaide
2010 International Travel Grant, The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand
2009 Trevor Prescott Memorial Scholarship, The Freemasons Foundation, Adelaide
2009 Amgen Young Investigator Award, The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand, Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra

Invited Presentations

Introduction by Dr. Hughes on article published in 15th March 2013 issue, Transplantation Journal. (see video)
“Gene Therapy to Promote Islet Survival Post-Transplantation”, Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami, USA

Invited Reviews

Hughes, A, Jessup, C, Drogemuller, C, Mohanasundaram, D, Milner, C, Rojas, D, Russ, G.R and Coates, P.T, Gene Therapy to Improve Pancreatic Islet Transplantation for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, 2010 Curr Diabetes Rev, 6, 274-84.

Published Manuscripts

Hughes, A, Mohanasundaram, D, Kireta, S, Jessup CF, Drogemuller, CJ, and Coates PTH, Insulin-Like Growth Factor-II (IGF-II) Prevents Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Induced Apoptosis and Significantly Improves Islet Survival Post-transplantation, 2013 Transplantation Mar 15;95(5):671-678.

Pant, H, Ferguson, B, Hughes, A and Schembri, M, Confounding Factors in Rhinological Research, Current Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery 2013 Mar 17 [Epub ahead of print].