Professor Wayne Hawthorne leads the clinical and experimental islet isolation and xeno-transplant research teams at the Westmead Institute; appointed as laboratory director in 2001 on Australia's First Clinical Islet Transplant program at Westmead; his team were the first in Australia to perform both allo and auto islet cell isolation and transplantation and to perform islet after kidney and combined islet/kidney transplants in patients. He was one of the founding researchers of the Centre for Transplant and Renal Research where he remains responsible for experimental surgical research projects.

In 2003 he became the Inaugural winner of the McKenzie Fellowship for Transplantation from the Transplant Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ). In 2007, he was awarded A “Key Opinion Leader” in transplantation by The Transplantation Society International. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious XENOME Award for transplantation from the European Union, at the 16th Nantes/Actualités/Transplantation in France. In 2011 he was promoted to Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Westmead based on his continued work developing transplantation treatments for patients with Type 1 diabetes. Since this time he has built on the experimental research program’s achievements, resulting in his award of the 2014 Kidney Health Australia and the TSANZ “Best Research in the Field of Laboratory Research” for his work on developing novel strategies for Islet Cell Xenotransplantation in preclinical studies. More recently he was awarded a 2015-16 Australia-Harvard-Fellowship to further develop his skills in islet auto-transplantation at Harvard University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, USA.

Wayne has strong international standing and was recently voted onto the International Xenotransplantation Association Council, for his commitment to advancing xenotransplantation technologies. He is on the Organising Committee for the combined IPITA/IXA/CTS 2015 congress and is on the abstract review committees for the Scientific meetings of both the International and National Transplant Societies. Wayne has been Convener and Organiser of the TSANZ postgraduate training course and the previous Congress of the Transplantation Society International.  He is also a member of the TSANZ Scientific Program and Education Committee. 

Research Focus

Wayne's main research interests are in clinical islet cell isolation and transplantation. The aim of this research has been the development of pancreatic islet cell transplantation as a mainstream therapy for patients with difficult to control Type 1 diabetes. Following many years of successful research and program grant support from the NHMRC and JDRF, the unit has been funded by the Australian Federal Government’s NFC program as a clinical program.

Wayne’s other laboratory research is focused primarily on the surgical models used for assessment of and prevention of xenograft rejection as well as developing islet and kidney xenografts as clinical therapy. His major focus rests on a number of joint NHMRC project grants that are devoted to the development of xenotransplantation using islet cells as treatment for patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes and also for patients that need a kidney transplant as a result of renal failure.


Other Affiliations

  • Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Westmead.
  • Director of the National Pancreas and Islet Transplant Laboratories at Westmead Hospital, under the National Funded Centres Clinical Programs.
  • Associate Professor, the National Pancreas Transplant unit, Westmead Hospital and the Deceased Organ Procurement Service, Donate Life, NSW.
  • Council Member The International Xenotransplantation Association  
  • Council Member Vanguard Committee Mentor program for The International Xenotransplantation Association  
  • Member Scientific Program and Education Committee (SPEC) of the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) 
  • Council Member The Australasian College of Biomedical Sciences (ACBMS).

Awards and Recognition

  • 2015-20 Visiting Professorship - The Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province, CHINA.
  • 2015-16 Australia- Harvard University – Fellowship at Harvard University and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, USA.
  • 2014 Kidney Health Australia and the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) - “Best Research in the Field of Laboratory Research” 
  • 2010 XENOME Award (European Union), The award was presented at the 16th Nantes/Actualités/Transplantation, Nante, France.  Xenome is an integrated project in the European Sixth Framework Programme (Life Sciences, Genomics and Biotechnology for Health).
  • 2007 Key Opinion Leader (KOL) in transplantation  - The Transplant Society International.
  • 2003 McKenzie Fellowship for Transplantation- The inaugural recipient of the award Austin Research Institute and the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand. 


  • Fellow Australasian College of BioMedical Scientists, FACBMS.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D., Faculty of Medicine, University of Lund, Sweden
  • Doctor of Medical Science, MD., Faculty of Medicine, University of Lund, Sweden
  • Master of Health Science, MHSc., University of Western Sydney
  • Diploma of Health Science, Dip.HSc., (Pathology), Sydney Institute of Technology
  • A/Diploma Clinical Pathology, Ass.Dip.HSc., Sydney Institute of Technology