Barry and the boys supporting the DRIF at the Haute Tea this past September

February 25, 2015

Part 4 of this report includes info for fans affected by diabetes and a look at another special scientist who is working to eradicate this terrible disease.

Most of us have heard the phrase “Knowledge is power”. Well, I certainly believe this is true. Although a cliche, it’s not only true; it takes away the fear one possesses when faced with a challenge such as dealing with diabetes. If you or someone in your world of family and friends suffers from diabetes, please go to this site:

Here you can register to get the latest research, learn about events and read the news about DRIF. Remember that information is liberating! You can make a difference by knowing as much as possible about the DRIF and its work and learning what you can personally do to help.

Now let’s meet another super scientist at the DRI!


Dr. Luca Inverardi with Aimee Siegel Harris, Manager of Donor Relations

I was again blessed to meet another valuable member of the research team at the DRI when I encountered Dr. Luca Inverardi. Very tall, looking like a long distance runner ready for the race, he appeared outside of Gary Kleiman’s office to say hello. Complimenting my cookies (I brought some Italian specialties for a treat), he impressed me with his  broad smile and  strong presence. Maybe it was his height (height does demand authority for sure) or maybe it was his laid back demeanor, but I was immediately at ease with this outgoing and interesting man.

Dr. Inverardi is an area leader for DRI Cell Production, Regeneration, and Stem Cell Research Program. He is also Director of Immunobiology of Islet Transplantation (remember those islets?) and is a Research Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Yes, that’s quite an intimidating list of titles, but this man was not intimidating at all. So what does he do?

Dr. Inverardi works on cell therapy. Put simply, he is working with different cell types to restore natural insulin production. With the stem cells, the scientists obtain a few from different sources and grow them into large quantities. Remember, stem cells have the capacity to become any tissue or organ of the body and have potential to create an unlimited supply of tissue for transplantation. Cord stem cells, for example, are multipotent, which means they may transfer toward most tissues and organs, including PANCREATIC BETA CELLS! Jackpot!

The DRI is working on improved methods of cell harvesting, cell culture and cell preservation, and Dr. Inverardi’s division is comprised of multi-disciplinary scientists working in molecular biology, immunology, pancreatic stem cell development, pathology and immunogenetics. Let’s just say he does it all, and I was grateful to get the chance to meet a scientist of this stature.

So I hope that fans everywhere will get on their computers and join the DRI as  Insiders and educate themselves about every aspect of the research and what they can do to help. Take the knowledge they have to offer and fight against diabetes. You can do it!


A Chat with Gary Kleiman and his Gibb connection

About morobinbarrystories

Anne Jakowenko, the blog author, has been loving the Bee Gees for decades while raising her sons and teaching college students Speech Communication and English skills at her alma mater, Syracuse University, where she received her Master’s degree. She has also taught for SUNY Oswego and Barry University. Currently, Anne is teaching for the State College of Florida while she continues to collect stories for her book, My Life with the Boys.
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