Dr. Albert Hwa is a graduate of Cornell University, where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Hwa received his PhD in Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the Operations Director for Joslin's Center for Cell-Based Therapy for Diabetes (CCTD) and a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hwa works with the Center director and Joslin's senior leadership to identify technologies ripe for translation and establish the research programs to bring them to clinical testing. Beta cells will be a primary target for the center for its central role in correcting insulin insufficiency in diabetes. CCTD will also try to accelerate and translate advances made in cell therapies for wound healing and eye diseases.
For the first initiative, Joslin is partnering with other leading Boston institutions in academia and industry to bring autologous stem cell-derived beta cell replacement to clinical testing under the Boston Autologous Islet Replacement Therapy program (BAIRT). Dr. Hwa is the overall program manager and coordinates the research activities within BAIRT. Additionally, Dr. Hwa will perform similar duties for other future research programs under CCTD.
Dr. Hwa came to Joslin from Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), where he was Director of Discovery Science. He has extensive experience in program planning and implementation and has been involved in managing large research consortia, including the European Consortium for Islet Transplantation and the Islet Transplantation Program in Australia.
In addition, Dr. Hwa:
- Established the JDRF Encapsulation Consortium in 2013
- Developed and managed research initiatives related to islet transplantation, bioengineering, stem cell research, cell encapsulation, and cellular reprogramming
- Represented JDRF as a liaison with several funding partners, including the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation.
- Served as a representative on the United Network for Organ Sharing's Pancreas Transplantation Committee and the Collaborative Islet Transplant Registry's Scientific Steering Committee.