Jonathan Lakey

Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, UCI

Jonathan Lakey

Dr. Jonathan Lakey has had a long interest and research focus in cell and tissue preservation and isolation with a focus on insulin-producing cells from the pancreas. Dr. Lakey graduated from the University of Alberta at Edmonton (B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.) and received postsecondary training in Indianapolis and Seattle before returning to establish his research program at the University of Alberta. His contributions and partnership with Dr. James Shapiro led towards the improvement of islet isolation techniques and the "Edmonton Protocol" for patients with Type 1 diabetes resulting in severe Type 1 diabetic patient being free of insulin injections published in NEJM.

Dr. Lakey is currently a Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, Director of Research and the Clinical Islet Program in the Department of Surgery, Director of Stem cell laboratory at the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Lakey has received several awards for his achievements in transplantation research from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), Canadian Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International. In addition, he was awarded a senior research scholar award from the AHFMR. Dr. Lakey has mentored several M.Sc. and Ph.D. students in his research laboratory and supported the training of technicians from several research and islet laboratories worldwide. 

Dr. Lakey sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards for several diabetes and biotechnology companies which resulted in several industry endorsed research grants with his research laboratory. Dr. Lakey has presided over several key regulatory boards which have established safety standards for cell and tissue transplantation in both Canada and the United States. Dr Lakey’s breadth of research includes examining alternative methods to treat diabetes through biotech industry collaborations.

Dr. Lakey has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for his groundbreaking research. Among his honors, Dr. Lakey was the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Science Award from the Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Foundation, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association, Awards from the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation Trainee Award and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Lakey was honored with the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada and was a recipient of an Alberta Centennial Medal by the Province of Alberta.

Dr. Lakey is widely sought after as a speaker in the field of diabetes, islet transplantation and biomaterials in transplantation.  He has focused research efforts in the field of stem cells and exosomes. He has been widely published with over 375 refereed scientific papers and 41 book chapters, submitted over 575 scientific abstracts, and has published a technical books on islet isolation and establishment of cleanroom facilities and operations. Among his proudest achievements, Dr. Lakey and his team have successfully trained over 50 islet transplant centers worldwide in replicating the Edmonton Protocol, resulting in diabetic patients being freed of exogenous insulin injections.  Dr. Lakey

participates on the editorial review boards of several diabetes and transplantation journals, reviews manuscripts for several publications and has served as a Councilor of the Cell Transplant Society.

The field of cell transplantation is ever-expanding and many opportunities continue to be developed including those in tissue preservation, cell processing and cell expansion, including those related to stem cells. Dr. Lakey’s training and breadth of experience in this field ensures that his research efforts will remain on the cutting-edge of this technology.