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directors
Riccardo Calafiore, M.D., Chief Science Officer

Professor Calafiore is a physician specializing in diabetes and internal medicine, and is the director of the Laboratory for Endocrine Cell Transplant and Bio-hybrid organs, at the University of Perugia, Italy, since 1987. Professor Calafiore has significantly advanced encapsulation procedures, and applied them to diabetes. Human islet cells were encapsulated and implanted into four diabetic patients by Professor Calafiore and colleagues in 1989, showing that the capsules were completely harmless to patients. The micro-capsules individual islets are isolated by a protective shield, and designed to prevent the islet from immune attack and remove the need for immuno-suppression. Dr. Calafiore is also pursuing transplantation of micro-encapsulated pig islets into patients with Type 1 Diabetes. This procedure is set up to bypass the other major obstacle of human islet transplantation: The scarcity of human donors.   

 

                      Giovanni Luca, M.D., Co-Director

Research & Development Dr. Luca is a physician specializing in Endocrinology and Diabetes, He is the co-ordinator of the "Islet xeno-transplantation and Sertoli cells Group". Since 1996, Dr. Luca has significantly advanced Sertoli cells isolation and encapsulation procedures and also applied them to Diabetes.
Dr. Luca is an author of over 53 publications in international journals (41 ISI impacted) and has given more than 65 oral presentations in National and International Congress on Cell Microencapsulation, Islet Cell Transplantation,Pancreatic Stem Cells, Sertoli Cells for the experimental and pilot clinical transplantation in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus into non-immunosuppressed recipients.

 

Giuseppe Basta, M.D., Co-Director

Research & Development Dr. Basta is a physician specializing in Endocrinology and Diabetes and coordinated the Islet transplantation, Microencapsulation and Stem Cell Section of the laboratory. He is an author for over 60 peer -reviewed publications. Dr. Basta has pioneered studies to generate an ultra-pure, "clinical grade" alginate and activated protocols for microcapsule's size adjustments. He has developed a new and original method for human umbilical cord, derived from adult mesenchymal stem cells that have been encapsulated in alginate and also have been grafted into diabetic experimental animal models. He is now setting up for human application.




                   

                     Don Cameron, Ph.D,
                    Don Cameron, Ph.D, graduated from the University of the South "Sewanee" (1969, B.S., Biology) and the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC (1972, M.S., Anatomy; 1976, Ph.D., Anatomy). He joined the faculty of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Florida (UF, 1977) and eventually the faculty of Anatomy at the University of South Florida College Of Medicine (USFCOM), 1986). Prior to his retirement in 2011, he was a Professor in the Department of Pathology &Cell Biology with joint appointments in Neurosurgery and Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, and was a member of the USFCOM Graduate Research Faculty and the USF Diabetes Center.


 Michael J. DiGiovanna, D.O., CPI
Senior Medical Director of Research & Development
Dr. Michael J. DiGiovanna received his undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree from the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, NY in 1982, graduating summa cum laude and was his class Valedictorian.  Dr. Mike graduated the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, NY in 1987, after having completed an undergraduate fellowship specializing in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine under the mentorship of Stanley Schiowitz, D.O. He completed his rotating internship at Coney Hospital in Brooklyn, NY in 1988. He has been board-certified in Family Practice since 1995. He is a Certified Physician Investigator in clinical research and has been the Principal Investigator in over 350 clinical trials. He is currently Senior Medical Director of Research & Development at ALTuCELL, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company seeking a cure for Type 1 diabetes mellitus and several neurodegenerative conditions.  He has been the Chairman of the Family Practice Departments at several institutions, sat on the board of directors for the NY State Osteopathic Medical Society and was the Osteopathic representative to the NY State Medicare Carriers Advisory Committee for many years.  He is the author of many publications, including “An Osteopathic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment.”