Mireille Sthijns


Let your islets hold their breath: Improving the success rate of clinical islet transplantation.

Mireille completed her PhD investigating adaptation processes to antioxidant flavonoids, acrolein and silver nanoparticles in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Maastricht University in 2014. She performed part of this project at the Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, in Düsseldorf, Germany and at the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden.

In June 2017, Mireille joined the MERLN Institute, where she investigates the processes and factors involved in self-organization of different tissues, including the effect of metabolic modulation, redox modulation and signalling. She aims to improve current strategies for the development of bioengineered tissues, especially to protect the islets of Langerhans, the functional units of the pancreas. In type 1 diabetes, these islets are damaged and the only current treatment, clinical islet transplantation, fails in many cases. During, upon and after transplantation, donor islets suffer from stress due to depleted oxygen and nutrient supply. By protecting the islets against this stress, she aims to improve the success rate of clinical islet transplantation.