Dr. 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. He graduated from the University of Alberta at Edmonton, Canada, with his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees. His contributions and partnership with James Shapiro, Ph.D., led towards the improvement of islet isolation techniques and the Edmonton Protocol that frees patients with Type 1 diabetes from having to administer insulin injections.
Dr. Lakey is currently an associate professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering and director of Research at the Clinical Islet Program in the Department of Surgery at the University of California, Irvine. He 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.
Dr. Lakey serves on the scientific advisory boards for three diabetes biotechnology companies, which resulted in the award of several industry-endorsed research grants to his research laboratory. He has presided over several regulatory boards that established safety standards for cell and tissue transplantation.
Dr. Lakey has been recognized worldwide for his ground breaking research. Among his honors, he 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, and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Dr. Lakey has published over 250 refereed scientific papers, 28 book chapters and a technical book on islet isolation and submitted over 420 scientific abstracts. Among his proudest achievements, his team has trained over 40 islet transplant centers world-wide in replicating the Edmonton Protocol. Dr. Lakey participates on the editorial review boards of several diabetes and transplantation journals, evaluates manuscripts for several publications and has served as a councilor of the Cell Transplant Society.