Yong Zhao MD, PhD, is an Associated Scientist in the Department of Biomedical Research at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
Abnormalities in multiple immune cells and the deficit of insulin-producing cells are two crucial common issues in type 1 diabetes (T1D) and T2D. Insulin therapy is not a cure. In search of a cure for T1D, I discovered cord blood-derived multipotent stem cells (CB-SC) in 2005 and successfully translated this finding into clinical use. My colleagues and I invented Stem Cell Educator therapy for the treatment of diabetes and other autoimmune diseases in humans. Stem Cell Educator therapy is a closed-loop system that circulates the patient’s immune cells, briefly cocultures them with adherent CB-SCs in vitro, and returns only the “educated” autologous immune cells into the patient’s circulation. This groundbreaking T1D study was recognized by the American Diabetes Association at the 72nd Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia in 2012 as one of eight major diabetes breakthroughs that year.
Recently, four-year follow-up studies demonstrated the long-term safety and clinical efficacy of Stem Cell Educator therapy for the treatment of T1D and T2D. Currently, we are exploring the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying Stem Cell Educator therapy to improve its clinical efficacy for the treatment of diabetes and other autoimmune diseases.
Hackensack University Medical Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
Assistant Professor in Medicine
University of Chicago/Argonne National Laboratory
Postdoc in Cell Biology
Shanghai Second Military Medical University
Ph.D. in Immunology
Shandong Qianfoshan Hospital
Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences
M.S. in Immunology
Shandong Qihe People’s Hospital
Physician in Department of Medicine
Shandong Weifang Medical College
M.D. in Clinical Medicine