DRI’s Ricordi Wins World Prize in Surgery

DRI Scientific Director Camillo Ricordi, M.D., and the Ricordi Chamber.

Miami, FL (February, 2001) — The Ricordi Method, an automated procedure for isolating pancreatic islet cells, was developed in 1986 by the Diabetes Research Institute’s scientific director Camillo Ricordi, M.D., while working in the laboratory of Paul Lacy, M.D., at Washington University in St. Louis.

The method, which includes the use of the Ricordi Chamber, helped earn Dr. Ricordi the Nessim Habif World Prize in Surgery from the University of Geneva in 2001. The prize is given for the invention of a machine or apparatus that has made it possible to achieve significant progress in a field of surgery.

Dr. Ricordi’s invention of the automated method of islet isolation made it possible for scientists to obtain larger numbers of islets from a human pancreas. Further improvements on the Ricordi Method have made it possible to isolate enough islets from one pancreas to transplant one patient. Until recently, as many as five and six organs were needed to carry out one transplant, making the advent of this automated method a major step forward in the field. The Ricordi Method continues to be the backbone of all islet cell isolation procedures.

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