Faculty Profile

Susan Safley

Susan A. Safley, PhD

Assistant Professor Emeritus, Division of General and GI Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

E-mail: ssafley@emory.edu

Year Joined Emory Surgery as a Faculty Member: 2001


Dr. Safley's research focused on improving methods for transplanting islets as a therapy for Type I diabetes. Her projects included developing the use of xenogeneic tissues as sources of donor islets; microencapsulation plus selective immune modulation of hosts as the means to accomplish cross-species islet graft survival; studying the causes of human parathyroid tumors and their functional characteristics, primarily through investigations of secreted products of human parathyroid tumors including neuropeptides and cytokines; and analyses of replication of parathyroid tumors of differing histopathologies. Much of this work was conducted with her colleague Collin Weber, MD, professor emeritus of the Department of Surgery.


  • Master of Science, University of Arkansas, 1977

  • PhD, Graduate Program of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Emory University, 1993

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory, 1993-1998

Honors and Awards

  • Founder Member, The Transplantation Society's Women Leaders in Transplantation, 2009

Organizational Memberships

  • Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society

  • Cell Transplant Society

  • International Transplantation Society

  • International Xenotransplantation Association

  • American Association of Immunologists

  • Sigma Xi, the Research Society of North America

Research Interests

  • Improving methods for transplanting islets as a therapy for Type I diabetes mellitus

  • Elucidating immunological mechanisms responsible for rejection or acceptance of microencapsulated allogeneic and xenogeneic islet grafts in diabetic NOD mice and non-human primates