Dr Shounan Yi
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Dr Shounan Yi

Senior Research Fellow
Medicine, Westmead Clinical School
The Westmead Institute for Medical Research
+61 2 9845 6877
+61 2 9633 9351

Dr. Shounan Yi is senior research fellow and leads a cellular immunotherapy research group at the Westmead Institute of Medical Research. He receives his medical degree in China in 1982 and PhD in UNSW in 1996. He is a leading researcher in islet xenotransplantation studies and has longstanding research interest and expertise in transplantation immunology. He has developed and refined many of the techniques that are currently in use in the study of xenotransplantation. Since 1997 he has been involved in various collaborative projects as a chief or an associate investigator in xenotransplantation research with St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Adelaide University and Central South University in China.

He is a medical graduate committed to research and has great interest in translation of his research into the clinic, in particular, regulatory T cell (Treg)-based immunotherapy in (xeno)transplantation. He has been involved as a co-investigator and/or senior scientific advisor in the first clinical trial for islet xenotransplantation, and several pilot regulatory cell-based therapy clinical trials in autoimmune disease and living donor kidney transplantation in China.

Dr Yi’s research interest is to develop and translate regulatory cell-based immunotherapies for clinical application in transplantation tolerance and autoimmune diseases.

Supervising honours, master and PhD students

1. Developing tolerance induction strategies for cellular immunotherapy in islet and kidney transplantation.

2.Type 1diabetes pathology, prevention and treatment.

3. Expanding the criteria for human islet transplantation by the development of a drug-free immunosuppression protocol.

Dr Yiis postgraduate supervisor at the University of Sydney since 1998 and is a regular reviewer for several international journals and national grants. He has been appointed as visiting or guest professor by a number of universities and medical institutions in China, including those in top 20 Chinese universities since 2000.


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Selected Grants


  • Identifying donor and recipient gene pathways in renal transplant fibrosis, O'Connell P, Harris D, Grey S, Zheng G, Yi S, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants


  • Bridging the gap in kidney transplantation using pigs as donors, Hawthorne W, Cowan P, Yi S, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants