José Oberholzer, M.D.

Director, Chicago Diabetes Project
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL

“The war on diabetes may yet be won. Chicago could become the ‘Silicon Valley’ of diabetes cures.”

Dr. José  Oberholzer, MD, is Professor of Surgery, Endocrinology and Diabetes, and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the Director of the Islet and Pancreas Transplant Program and the Chief of the Division of Transplantation. He has extensive experience in clinical and experimental islet transplantation, abdominal organ transplantation, as well as advanced hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery.  He trained at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), as well as at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Canada), where he completed a fellowship in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery and transplantation. Dr. Oberholzer was the Head of the Islet Transplant Program at the University of Geneva and the GRAGIL islet consortium from 1998 to 2002, completing a significant number of islet transplants. He has been heading UIC’s Islet Transplant Program since 2003 and is the Chief of the Transplant Division at UIC since Summer 2007.  UIC has a comprehensive multi-organ transplant program with emphasis on transplantation for diabetes, as well as on robotic surgery in living donors for kidney, liver, pancreas and small bowel.

Dr. Oberholzer is also an expert in advance minimally invasive and robotic surgery of abdominal organs. To date the UIC islet transplant program has performed over 250 human islet isolations for both transplant and research. UIC is a federally funded islet cell resource center and provides islet preparation for researchers around the world. Dr. Oberholzer at UIC has successfully completed a phase I/II trial with 10 patients investigating the effect of anti-inflammatory treatment in combination with exenatide on islet transplantation outcomes.

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