Prof Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas is a Senior Research Fellow at St Vincent’s Institute in Melbourne where she is head of the Immunology and Diabetes Unit. Her research is focused on prevention of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, her research aims to protect the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas from being destroyed by immune cells. In type 2 diabetes, she is interested in understanding the stress that diabetes places on beta cells and whether these stress pathways can be prevented in vivo. Her work is being applied to humans through the transplantation of islets isolated from organ donors by the Tom Mandel Islet Transplant Program in Victoria to reverse type 1 diabetes in severe cases.