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Gary Harlem, CEO and Founder

Gary R. Harlem is an accomplished entrepreneur highly respected within the health care industry. He is a well-rounded, genuine person that has a strong passion and unmatched vision for people to live healthier lifestyles. Harlem has been in the health care industry for over thirty years before joining the fight against T1D. 


In 1989 he established Body Breakthrough, Inc., a herbal tea company servicing health food stores nationally. In 1990 he launched as the CEO Action Labs, a nutritional supplement company, establishing sales to the health food industry, which included the major health food chains, which was bought by a public company.  Gary’s entrepreneurial spirit inspired him in 1995 to launch as CEO USA Nutritionals, which expanded into mass trade, drug chains, and private pharmacies both nationally and internationally.


Dr. Riccardo Calafiore, M.D.  Endocrinologist
; Chief Science Officer, Altucell

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. Dr. Calafiore is pursuing transplantation of microencapsulated Sertoli cells into patients with Type1 Diabetes. This procedure is set up to bypass the other major obstacle of human islet transplantation: the scarcity of human donors.


Dr. Giovanni Luca, M.D.
 Co-Director, R&D, Altucell

Dr. Luca is a physician specializing in endocrinology and diabetes, coordinator of the “Islet xenotransplantation and Sertoli cells Group.” Since 1996, Dr. Luca has significantly advanced Sertoli cells isolation and encapsulation procedures, and applied them to diabetes. Dr. Luca is the author of over 53 publications in Journals internationally
(41 ISI-impacted) and 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 type1 diabetes mellitus into non-immunosuppressed recipients.


Dr. Giuseppe Basta, M.D. Endocrinologist Co-Director, R&D, Altucell

Dr. Basta is a physician specializing in Endocrinology and Diabetes coordinating the Islet Transplantation, Microencapsulation and Stem Cell Section of the Laboratory. Author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Basta has pioneered studies to generate an ultrapure, “clinical grade” alginate and activated protocols for microcapsule’s size adjustments. He has developed a new and original method for human umbilical cord-derived adult mesenchyme stem cells that have been encapsulated in alginate and grafted into diabetic experimental animal models.


Michael J. DiGiovanna, D.O., CPI, Senior Medical Director of R&D, Altucell

Dr. DiGiovanna is a Certified Physician Investigator in clinical research and has been the Principal Investigator in over 350 clinical trials. 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.”


Jura Christine Zibas, JD Legal Affairs

Jura Christine Zibas has an extensive technology background and focuses her legal practice on intellectual property and related commercial matters. Relying on her scientific and analytical skill sets, Jura assists in solving legal issues that involve intellectual property rights and complex business disputes. Trained in chemistry, Jura handles complex civil matters and acts a general counsel for biotech and durable medical equipment companies. Her education includes Capital University School of Law, J.D., Tulane University, B.S. She is licensed in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, California and the USPTO.


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