Miami, FL – November 17, 2015 – Scientists from around the world working within the multi-disciplinary fields of cell and organ transplantation are convening in Melbourne, Australia, this week for the 2015 Joint Congress of the IPITA (International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association), IXA (International Xenotransplantation Association) and CTS (Cell Transplant Society), a global forum for investigators to share groundbreaking progress on new cell-based treatments and research aimed at discovering a cure for diabetes.
During a joint session taking place on Tuesday, November 17, Camillo Ricordi, M.D., the Stacy Joy Goodman Professor of Surgery and Director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, will deliver the Inaugural CTS Camillo Ricordi Lecture, in recognition of his vision and leadership in creating the Cell Transplant Society in 1991 and his ongoing contributions to the field of cell transplantation. The CTS is dedicated to promoting research and collaboration in cellular transplantation. Dr. Ricordi’s lecture, titled “Translational Challenges and Opportunities in Cellular Therapies and Regenerative Medicine,” will summarize the many research milestones that have been achieved along the path to developing a cure for millions worldwide living with diabetes.
Acknowledged by his peers as one of the world’s leading scientists in cure-focused diabetes research and cell transplantation, Dr. Ricordi is well-known for inventing the machine that makes it possible to isolate large numbers of islet cells (insulin-producing cells) from the human pancreas and for performing the first series of successful clinical islet transplants that reversed diabetes after implantation of donor purified islets into the liver of recipients with diabetes. The procedure is now used by laboratories performing clinical islet transplants worldwide.
Building upon decades of progress in islet transplantation, Dr. Ricordi and his team recently performed the first tissue engineered islet transplant using a biodegradable scaffold implanted on the surface of the omentum, a highly vascularized tissue covering abdominal organs, as part of the DRI’s FDA-approved pilot BioHub clinical trial.
Dr. Ricordi, who served as president of the CTS from 1992 – 1994, holds leadership positions in numerous international scientific organizations. He also serves as president of the Ri.MED Foundation (Ricerca Mediterranea) in Palermo, Italy, which is dedicated to the development of new medical therapies and the rapid translation of innovative results into clinical practice for patients worldwide.
About the Diabetes Research Institute
The Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leads the world in cure-focused research. As the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to develop a biological cure by restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks. Researchers have already shown that transplanted islet cells allow patients to live without the need for insulin therapy. The DRI is now building upon these promising outcomes by developing the DRI BioHub and is testing various BioHub platforms in preclinical and clinical studies. For more information, please visit DiabetesResearch.org or call 800-321-3437. You can tweet DRI at @Diabetes_DRI.
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