Transplantation Technologies & Research

ISSN: 2161-0991

Open Access

Derek Gray

Derek Gray

Derek Gray
University of Oxford, UK


After my Medical School studies at Leeds I began a career in Academic Surgery in Oxford, specialising in transplantation and vascular surgery. My most significant contribution was being the first to show that it was possible to isolate human islets of Langerhans from the human pancreas in sufficient numbers to contemplate transplantation. That work has finally come to fruition in 2008 with the setting up of an NHS funded, nationwide islet transplantation program to treat patients with particulalry severe diabetes by islet transplantation, Oxford being one of two UK islet isolating centres. The challenge is now to set up a successful continuing clinical islet transplant programme.

The barriers of immune rejection and auto-immune disease are crucially important to the long-term success of cellular transplantation, and arising from my reading of past and present research in these fields I have proposed a fundamental alteration in the interpretation of the role of MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) molecules, which I have named MHC Based Suppression (MBS). {Link to Oxford Research Archive (}.

A further interest has been the development of a computerised timetabling system for Medical School teaching, which also gives the opportunity to feed back the students opinion of the previous teaching. By adding in the concept of notional credits for teaching performed it is possible to identify and reward those teachers who deliver excellence. This system is running in one medical school (not UK) and is in the process of being introduced to others. I declare a financial interest in this development.

In Oriel, my main contribution is to provide Gross Anatomy teaching to first-year Medical Students. To improve the teaching efficiency I have introduced computer driven projection of "dissectable anatomy" and also synchronous dual projection to show radiology (provided by a Consultant Radiologist) of the points of interest.

Research Interest

Transplantation and vascular surgery, clinical islet transplant, to isolate human islets of Langerhans from the human pancreas in sufficient numbers to contemplate transplantation.


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