Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1953 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr. Sabek Recieved her PhD from University College London. After completion of her postdoctoral training, Dr. Sabek received dual appointments as an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing and Department of Surgery at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, Tennessee. She has collaborated on several NIH-funded research grants and published over 30 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Sabek joined The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in 2007.

Research interests

Over the last 15 years; as the Director of Quality Assurance & Control of the Islet Transplant Laboratory; I have focused on research involving pancreatic islet biology as well as examining the potential of human Mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of diabetes. At the Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center, I have been heavily involved in human islet isolation and transplantation. In our center, we have isolated human islets from over 420 cadaver donors. I design and perform experiments aimed at improving human pancreatic islet recovery, engraftment, and function, accounting for donor variables, isolation methods, and islet preservation. Moreover, my group has identified a gene expression profile that can predict islet function, specifically measuring the expression of those genes over 2 weeks of culture using microarray analysis. Identifying and validating this set of genes has been advantageous in developing a potency assay for screening human islet preparations before clinical transplant and in devising strategies for potentially improving post-transplant functionality. In our center, we’ve performed 15 islets auto-transplants for patients with chronic pancreatitis and one allo-transplant, which resulted in a Case report publication, the first in the literature to demonstrate islet de-differentiation in patients with chronic pancreatitis without established diabetes. Building upon my research in pancreatic islet biology, I have recently been investigating the role and potential mechanism underlying the actions of the bone hormone osteocalcin in early diabetes and its role in restoring beta cell identity. My work has been funded continuously for the last 8 years from multiple foundations (The Brown Foundation and the Vivian L. Smith Foundation) and earlier by an NIH funded grants “Impact of standardization and procedure optimization on islet isolation”.

Education/Academic qualification

Biochemistry, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Biochemistry, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN

Chemistry, PhD, University College London

Research Area Keywords

  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Transplantation

Free-text keywords

  • Islet cell transplantation
  • Functional genomics
  • Allograft rejection
  • Osteocalcin
  • Diabetes


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