FAIRFIELD, N.J., March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Jon S. Odorico of Madison, WI, was awarded the 2016 UNICO National Marconi Science Award and Medal by UNICO National President Ann Walko, at a gala award ceremony and dinner attended by UNICO National officers and dignitaries from across the country during UNICO's National Board of Directors meeting, Saturday, March 5th, 2016 in Atlantic City, NJ.
Dr. Odorico, a physician-scientist, has dedicated his career to researching the treatment of diabetes through surgical and breakthrough cellular interventions. He directs the University of Wisconsin Pancreas Transplant Program, which is among the best and busiest in the world. Since its inception, the Program has performed over 1,500 pancreas transplants for patients with diabetes and has a world-renowned reputation for achieving excellent results. In addition, Dr. Odorico initiated a clinical islet transplantation program, the only active islet transplant program in Wisconsin. Islet transplantation is a less invasive option for restoring beta cell mass in diabetics. Considering that the shortage of donors would never supply enough islets to treat the millions of diabetics, Dr. Odorico initiated research to determine if certain specific human stem cells can be coaxed into becoming insulin-producing beta cells to provide an unlimited supply of human cells for transplantation. His groundbreaking work has led to worldwide research efforts in this area due to the promise it holds for producing cells to replicate pancreatic action for diabetics.
Dr. Odorico's foundational effort in stem cell research in this field has led to his securing 3 issued patents and an additional 3 patent applications, as well as the launching of a biotechnology company, Regenerative Medical Solutions, Inc.
"Dr. Odorico is an outstanding recipient of the UNICO National Marconi Science Award," commented Andre' DiMino, Marconi Science Award Chair and Past National President of UNICO National. "He has dedicated his life to help millions of people suffering from this life threatening disease. He truly exemplifies the great accomplishments and contributions of Italian Americans to technology and science that UNICO honors each year with this prestigious award."
After receiving the award, Dr. Odorico stated, "I am extremely grateful to receive such a prestigious award from a great organization like UNICO National." He concluded his acceptance speech with the following, "This is one of the most important honors I have ever received and I will remember this night for the rest of my life."
UNICO's Marconi Science Award is presented to a U.S. citizen of Italian descent involved in scientific research and discovery The Award was established in 1995 to annually recognize a living scientist who exemplifies Marconi's vast scientific and creative accomplishments through their own life achievements.
UNICO National, founded in 1922, is the largest Italian American service organization in America, with local Chapters in 22 States across the country. It's all-volunteer members work to support charitable, educational, scientific and literary causes while promoting Italian heritage and combating negative stereotyping. For more info visit unico.org.
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SOURCE UNICO National