Lakey, Jonathan, Ph.D.

Section 1

Jonathan Lakey, Ph.D., MSM

Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering
Director of Research and Clinical Islet Program


Dr. Jonathan Lakey has had a long interest and research direction in cell and tissue transplantation with a focus on diabetes and islet transplantation. Dr. Lakey graduated from the University of Alberta (BSc, MSc, Ph.D.) and received post-post-doctoral training in Indianapolis and Seattle before returning to establish his research program at the University of Alberta. Dr. Lakey was also the Director of the Comprehensive Tissue Bank. Currently, Dr. Lakey is a Professor in the Department of Surgery and in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California Irvine. Dr. Lakey is also serving as the Director of the Clinical Islet Program at the University of California Irvine.

His contributions and partnership with Dr. James Shapiro led towards the improvement of islet isolation techniques and the development of the “Edmonton Protocol” for patients with Type 1 diabetes, a recognized major advancement in the treatment of diabetes. Dr. Lakey has been awarded research grants and awards for diabetes and transplantation research from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), Canadian Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International (JDFI). Dr. Lakey values the mentoring of MSc and Ph.D. students in his research laboratory and supported the training of technicians from several research and islet laboratories worldwide.

Dr. Lakey has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for his groundbreaking research. Among his honors, Dr. Lakey is the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership in Science Award from Alberta Science & Technology, Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association, and Studentship Awards from the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigations Trainee Award and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Lakey was honored with the Meritorious Service Medal (2005) by the Governor-General of Canada.

Dr. Lakey is widely sought after as a speaker in the field of diabetes, islet transplantation, and regulatory standards of cell and tissue transplantation. He is widely published with over 495 referred scientific papers, 45 book chapters, submitted over 500 scientific abstracts, and has recently published a technical book on islet isolation. Among his proudest achievements, Dr. Lakey and his team have successfully trained over 40 islet transplant centers worldwide in replicating the Edmonton Protocol, resulting in diabetic patients being freed of exogenous insulin injections. Dr. Lakey sits on the editorial boards of several diabetes and transplantation journals, serving as reviewers for multiple journals, and has served as a Councilor for Cell Transplant Society.

Research in Lay Terms

My research focus is cell and tissue transplantation for patients suffering from diabetes.

Research Focus

My research focuses on cell and tissue transplantation with an interest in islet cell transplantation, with research in the field of xenotransplantation using bioartificial device. My research also utilizes stem cell-derived exosomes as an immunomodulatory treatment of diabetes and transplant tolerance.


Phone: (949) 824-8022
Lab Admin: Michael Alexander
Lab Admin Email:

Department Affiliations:
Surgery (School of Medicine)
Biomedical Engineering
Favorite book:
Decoded by Jay Z, Known and Unknown by Donald Rumsfeld
Favorite Movie:
True Grit, John Wayne Version (1969)
Favorite Quote:
ʺBeing crazy isn't enoughʺ, Dr. Seuss