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Omaima Sabek, PhD

Assistant Research Professor of Surgery, Institute for Academic Medicine
Assistant Research Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


After completion of her postdoctoral training in 2005, Dr. Sabek received dual appointments as an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing and Department of Surgery at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, Tennessee. She has collaborated on several NIH-funded research grants and published over 30 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Sabek joined The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in 2007.

Description of Research

Dr. Sabek´s research focuses on islet cell transplantation, and specifically, the surrogate markers for prediction of long-term transplantation outcomes. She also aims to improve transplantation outcomes through the development and validation of improved techniques for islet recovery, isolation, engraftment, and post-transplant functioning/preservation. Dr. Sabek also conducts studies investigating potential biomarkers of allograft rejection.

Areas Of Expertise

Islet cell transplantation Functional Genomics Allograft rejection Osteocalcin Diabetes
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship , Department of Biochemistry, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN
PhD , University College London

Investigating the Abscopal Effects of Radioablation on Shielded Bone Marrow in Rodent Models Using Multimodality Imaging
Afshar, SF, Zawaski, JA, Inoue, T, Rendon, DA, Zieske, AW, Punia, JN, Sabek, OM & Gaber, MW 2017, Radiation Research. DOI:

Serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin correlates with hemoglobin A1c in children with recently diagnosed pediatric diabetes
Redondo, MJ, Shirkey, BA, Fraga, DW, Gaber, AO & Sabek, OM 2017, Pediatric Diabetes. DOI:

Imaging Radiation-Induced Gastrointestinal, Bone Marrow Injury and Recovery Kinetics Using 18F-FDG PET
Tang, TT, Rendon, DA, Afshar, SF, Kaffes, CK, Sabek, OM & Gaber, MW 2017, PloS one, vol 12, no. 1, pp. e0169082. DOI:

Advancing islet transplantation: from donor to engraftment
Sabek, O 2016, . Springer US.

Sustained zero-order delivery of GC-1 from a nanochannel membrane device alleviates metabolic syndrome
Filgueira, CS, Nicolov, E, Hood, RL, Ballerini, A, Garcia-Huidobro, J, Lin, JZ, Fraga, D, Webb, P, Sabek, O, Gaber, AO, Phillips, KJ & Grattoni, A 2016, International Journal of Obesity. DOI:

Three-dimensional printed polymeric system to encapsulate human mesenchymal stem cells differentiated into islet-like insulin-producing aggregates for diabetes treatment
Sabek, OM, Farina, M, Fraga, DW, Afshar, S, Ballerini, A, Filgueira, CS, Thekkedath, UR, Grattoni, A & Gaber, AO 2016, Journal of Tissue Engineering, vol 7, pp. 2041731416638198. DOI:

Mapping radiation injury and recovery in bone marrow using 18F-FLT PET/CT and USPIO MRI in a rat model
Rendon, DA, Kotedia, K, Afshar, SF, Punia, JN, Sabek, OM, Shirkey, BA, Zawaski, JA & Gaber, MW 2016, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, vol 57, no. 2, pp. 266-271. DOI:

Osteocalcin effect on human ß-cells mass and function
Sabek, OM, Nishimoto, SK, Fraga, D, Tejpal, N, Ricordi, C & Gaber, AO 2015, Endocrinology, vol 156, no. 9, pp. 3137-3146. DOI:

Effects of glioma presence during radiotherapy on tissue damage
Zawaski, JA, Sabek, O, Wong, K & Gaber, MW 2015, Cancer Research, vol 75, no. 15, 3321. DOI:

Radiation combined injury models to study the effects of interventions and wound biomechanics
Zawaski, JA, Yates, CR, Miller, DD, Kaffes, CC, Sabek, OM, Afshar, SF, Young, DA, Yang, Y & Gaber, MW 2014, Radiation Research, vol 182, no. 6, pp. 640-652. DOI:

Osteocalcin protects against nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in a mouse model of metabolic syndrome
Gupte, AA , Sabek, OM, Fraga, D, Minze, LJ, Nishimoto, SK, Liu, JZ, Afshar, S, Gaber, L, Lyon, CJ, Gaber, AO & Hsueh, WA 2014, Endocrinology, vol 155, no. 12, pp. 4697-4705. DOI:

Characterization of a nanogland for the autotransplantation of human pancreatic islets
Sabek, OM, Ferrati, S, Fraga, DW, Sih, J, Zabre, EV, Fine, DH, Ferrari, M, Gaber, AO & Grattoni, A 2013, Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology, vol 13, no. 18, pp. 3675-3688. DOI:

Effects of irradiation on brain vasculature using an in situ tumor model
Zawaski, JA, Gaber, MW, Sabek, OM, Wilson, CM, Duntsch, CD & Merchant, TE 2012, International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, vol 82, no. 3, pp. 1075-1082. DOI:

Serial analysis of biomarkers of acute pancreas allograft rejection
Cashion, AK, Sabek, O, Driscoll, C, Gaber, L, Tolley, E & Gaber, AO 2010, Clinical Transplantation, vol 24, no. 6. DOI:

Imaging of human islet vascularization using a dorsal window model
Sabek, O, Gaber, MW, Wilson, CM, Zawaski, JA, Fraga, DW & Gaber, O 2010, Transplantation Proceedings, vol 42, no. 6, pp. 2112-2114. DOI:

Radiation-Induced Astrogliosis and Blood-Brain Barrier Damage Can Be Abrogated Using Anti-TNF Treatment
Wilson, CM, Gaber, MW, Sabek, OM, Zawaski, JA & Merchant, TE 2009, International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, vol 74, no. 3, pp. 934-941. DOI:

Prospects for future advancements in islet cell transplantation
Sabek, OM , Hamilton, DJ & Gaber, AO 2009, Minerva Chirurgica, vol 64, no. 1, pp. 59-73.

The effect of isolation methods and the use of different enzymes on islet yield and in vivo function
Sabek, OM, Cowan, P, Fraga, DW & Gaber, AO 2008, Cell Transplantation, vol 17, no. 7, pp. 785-792. DOI:

Expression of transforming growth factor-ß by human islets: Impact on islet viability and function
Sabek, OM, Fraga, DW, Henry, J, Gaber, LW, Kotb, M & Gaber, AO 2007, Cell Transplantation, vol 16, no. 8, pp. 775-785.

The Inflammatory Cascade in Acute Pancreatitis: Relevance to Clinical Disease
Elfar, M, Gaber, LW, Sabek, O, Fischer, CP & Gaber, AO 2007, Surgical Clinics of North America, vol 87, no. 6, pp. 1325-1340. DOI: