Project Timeline

January 2012

Large-animal efficacy studies begin at Cedars-Sinai and University of California–Irvine, in Orange, California.

October 26, 2011

After extensive review, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center officially approves the project’s research protocol for large-animal efficacy studies.

October 2011

Islet Sheet Medical and UC–Irvine lab demonstrate that islets encapsulated in Islet Sheets remain viable for two months when implanted in dogs. View the poster.

June 2011

Islet Sheet Medical and UC–Irvine lab demonstrate that Islet Sheet is biocompatible in the rat model. They present findings at the 2011 meeting of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association (IPITA) meeting in Prague. Hanuman Medical Foundation sponsors a reception there at the Prague Municipal Building, attended by many colleagues as well as leaders of IPITA. Read more.

May 2011

The project receives news that Professor Bergman and his whole research group, including Dr. Ader, are moving from USC to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where Bergman has been appointed head of the new Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute. The start of large animal studies is delayed while they move their large and complex laboratory, and Cedars-Sinai authorizes the research collaboration.

April 2011

The Solving Diabetes project is subsumed into the Islet Sheet Project and Hanuman Medical Foundation. Work begins on a new website for the foundation.

March 2011

Dr. Lakey and Scott King of Islet Medical attend a one-day conference on encapsulation hosted by JDRF. The most exciting clinical news comes from Denis Dufrane of Brussels: about initiation of a clinical trial of his alginate macrocapsule. Since this device is similar to the Islet Sheet, it’s positive news for our project.

January 2011

The Islet Sheet collaborators determine that the device is ready for testing in larger animals. Famed diabetes researcher and animal physiologist Richard N. Bergman (long an advisor to the project) prepares, with his colleague Dr. Marilyn Ader, to join the team.

December 2010   

Cerco Medical, the San Francisco-based biotechnology company that invented and fabricates the Islet Sheet, reverts to its original name, Islet Sheet Medical.

June 2010

Scott King gives a report on the progress of the Islet Sheet research. Read the full report.

April 2010

University of California–Irvine researcher Jonathan Lakey, PhD, is awarded a UC Discovery grant. Hanuman Medical Foundation adds funds, bringing the total grant for Dr. Lakey’s research to $105,000.

January 2010

Hanuman Medical Foundation is featured in the “Giving” section of Gentry magazine. Read the article.

December 2009 

Living Cell Technologies reports that the first patient in its New Zealand clinical trials of Diabecell, its microencapsuled porcine product, was doing well on a reduced insulin dose. Subsequently the company is granted a commercial license to market the device in Russia, the first commercial license for a cell implant product to treat diabetes.

October 2009

Hanuman Medical Foundation and the research team attend the joint meeting of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association (IPITA) and the International Xenotransplantation Association (IXA) in Venice, Italy, renewing contacts with colleagues in the field and learning about current research in the field.

June 25, 2009

The Solving Diabetes Project website is launched to raise awareness about the Islet Sheet Research.

April 16, 2009

Rick Storrs, VP Research at Cerco Medical, presents results at the Cell Transplant Society meeting in Okayama, Japan.

April 8, 2009

The first Islet Sheet data is published at the Levine Symposium held in Anaheim, CA.

December 10, 2008

Hanuman Medical Foundation hosts a private conference to permit world leaders in encapsulation to review the research plans. Attendees include Professors Ricardo Calafiore and Giuseppe Basta from Perugia (Italy); Pierre Gianello and Denis Dufrane from UCL (Belgium); Richard Bergman from USC; and Andrew Drexler and Carol Robertson from UCLA.

September 2, 2008

Research collaboration between Cerco Medical and UC Irvine begins.

July 1, 2008

Dr. Lakey begins as Director of Research, UCI Surgery.

October 2007

Cerco Medical learns that the Surgery Department at the University of California–Irvine is considering hiring Jonathan R. T. Lakey, the lead investigator at Edmonton in prior research. Cerco Medical and the foundation support his candidacy.

April 2007

Based on initial conversations with donors, Hanuman Medical Foundation requests that Cerco Medical find a collaborator closer to San Francisco, preferably in California. Cerco Medical begins investigating potential collaborators.

March 2007

The founding board selects the Islet Sheet Project to be the Hanuman Medical Foundation’s first funded project. The management of Cerco Medical prepare a plan focused on collaboration with the previous collaborator, the University of Alberta (Edmonton).

February 2007

Hanuman Medical Foundation  is founded by John Golenski and Scott King. The suspended Islet Sheet Project is a model for “orphan therapies” to be supported. Golenski and King recruit founding board members.

December 2001

Changed conditions in the investment environment make fund raising for the Islet Sheet project impossible. The Cerco Medical team decides to shelve the project until conditions improve.

July 2000

New England Medical Journal publishes the results of the so-called Edmonton Protocol, showing that islet transplants, done correctly, could almost completely normalize blood sugar levels. This work remains a milestone, while the publicity it received raised hopes for a cure prematurely. Read the paper.

October 1995

Cerco Medical files first patent application for the prototype Islet Sheet.

March 1993

The Cerco Medical team implants canine islets—in the form of microcapsules with a very thin, conforming coating—into a diabetic dog at the University of California–Davis. The dog remains off insulin for nearly six years.

Mid-to-late 1990s

In this era of flush funding, research projects experiment with methods of encapsulating islets, trying everything from alginate capsules to coated islets placed under the skin.

October 3, 1980

Scott R. King, then a Wall Street analyst for an investment banking firm who had been diagnosed with type 1 two years earlier, publishes the first research report on the future of the diabetes industry. Read the report Industry Review: Prospects in Diabetes Therapy.


Several studies demonstrate that islet transplants can cure diabetes in rats and mice, though the unprotected islets do not survive long. However, autografts of islets (that is, islets isolated from a pancreas removed from a person suffering serious pancreatic inflammation) are shown to cure diabetes when implanted back into the patient, thus demonstrating that islet transplantation can cure diabetes.