Department of Surgery/Division of Transplantation
University of Illinois at Chicago
Solomon Afelik, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Division of Transplantation of the Department of Surgery. He received a B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ghana, Legon and PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Goettingen in Germany. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Afelik focused his research efforts during his doctoral and post-doctoral training on the developmental biology of the pancreas and has made major discoveries on the formation, growth and differentiation of pancreatic progenitor cells.
Dr. Afelik is a recipient of the prestigious American Diabetes Association Junior Faculty award. His current research involves applying his knowledge of pancreas development to generate a reliable source of glucose responsive insulin producing cells (pancreatic beta-cells) to be used in cell replacement therapy for diabetes patients. This involves applying developmental signaling factors to direct cell fate decisions towards pancreatic beta-cell fate, as well to scale up the number of beta-cells to levels that are sufficient to reverse diabetes.