About Us

Combating diseases to end suffering and improve quality of life for anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or social standing.

Institute investigators will have demonstrated their excellence in research or their potential to achieve excellence in research through their publications, peer-reviewed funding, and scientific acceptance in their field.


History of Research

Collaborative studies with the late Paul E. Lacy, MD, Ph.D., pioneered much of the early progress in islet transplantation. Dr. Scharp and Dr. Lacy were also co-founding scientists of Cytotherapeutics in 1989 with Dr. Aebischer and Dr. Galetti and completed a clinical trial of encapsulated human islets in 1993.

Dr. Scharp left the university and joined Neocrin Company in 1994 as Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, and Chief Medical Officer to develop encapsulated islet xenotransplantation technology into a clinical product.

In 1999, Dr. Scharp co-founded Novocell, Inc. and developed a conformal PEG coating of human islets as an allograft product without requiring long-term immunosuppression. Research and Development studies progressed from rodents through diabetic non-human primate models showing long-term encapsulated islet allografts function without immunosuppression. The FDA accepted a clinical trial IND for encapsulated human islet allografts in 2005.

In 2006, Dr. Scharp left Novocell and founded Prodo Laboratories, Inc. and Invenio Institute. A not-for-profit California public benefit company focused on performing diabetes research. Invenio Institute later changed its name to The Scharp-Lacy Research Institute. Prodo Labs provides human islets to both corporate and academic diabetes researchers globally, having delivered over 120 million human islets since its inception. The companies are also pursuing research into human islet cell expansion, islet encapsulation, and other diabetes products.

In 2007, Prodo Laboratories developed and launched its advanced islet culturing media, Prodo Islet Media, optimized for recovery, standaard culturing, and transportation.

In 2014, Dr. Scharp began noticing early-stage symptoms of Dupuytrens Contracture and began researching the disease via the Scharp-Lacy Institute. In 2017, Dr. Scharp started to research and develop a therapeutic cream targeting the inflammatory response that, in an early clinical study and through personal use, demonstrated efficacy in reducing and softening the nodules and cords and slowing the progression of the disease. It has also improved his trigger finger and arthritic pain.

Principal Researchers

David W. Scharp, MD


Dr. Scharp trained and worked at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, as a Professor of Surgery and researcher in islet transplantation for nearly 30 years, producing over 200 publications with continuous NIH and JDRF funding and 13 issued patents to date in the area of islet transplantation.

Paul Lacy, MD, PhD


Paul Lacy was a pioneer in experimental islet transplantation and demonstrated proof-of-concept in animal models, thereby stimulating the development of successful protocols in human clinical islet transplantation.

Gowri Arulmoli​


A microbiologist with an extensive background in developing clinical testing protocols as well as early and later-stage disease pathophysiology research for private and government sectors at organizations ranging from NAMSA, Novocell, Baxter, and Prodo Labs to FDA compliant Human Clinical Trials.

15 years since launch

Research Resources

Recent Research Reports

Some of our research accolades include:

10,000+ Publication Citations

Of our combined researchers.

20+ Patents / 1200 Citations

Of our combined researchers.


NIH (National Institutes of Health) and JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) funding

Request Research Info

If you are interested in any specific research topics or would like to connect with a researcher directly, please use this form to contact us.