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Gaetano Faleo, Ph.D.

Gaetano Faleo, Ph.D.

Associate Specialist

Contact Information

(415) 476-0789
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  • University of Bologna, Italy, Pharmaceutical chemistry, 1997
  • INRA, Jouy-En-Josas, Paris, France, Toxicology,2002
  • University of Foggia, Italy, Ph.D., Molecular Medicine, 2003
  • Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Transplant tissue injury, 2006
  • Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami, Transplant immunology, 2007
  • University of California, San Francisco, Transplant immunology, 2010
  • Immune rejection
  • Ischemic injury
  • Islet transplantation
  • Stem cell-derived islets
  • Type 1 diabetes

Dr. Faleo received his PhD training in a joint program between University of Foggia, Italy, and University of Pittsburgh, USA in 2007. His thesis work was focused on studying the protective effect of carbon monoxide in organ transplantation. He then went to University of Miami as a postdoctoral fellow to work on a project of intravital imaging of islet transplantation. He joined the Tang lab in 2010 to continue his postdoctoral training and worked on evaluating novel encapsulation devices to protect islet grafts against immune rejection. In the mean time, he also investigated factors that contributed to primary graft failure in islets and human embryonic stem cell-derived islets. The goal of this project is to design an optimally configured implantable cradle for islets and stem cells to minimize peri-transplant stress and maximize long-term outcome of islet transplantation.

  • TTS-CTS Scientific Award, The Transplantation Society - Cell Transplantation Society, 2015
  • Recipient of Young Investigator Award, American Transplant Congress, 2007
  • Young Investigator Award, University of Foggia, Italy, 2006
  • Recipient of European Leonardo Fellowship, University of Bologna, Italy, 2003
  • Recipient of European Socrates Fellowship, University of Bologna, Italy, 2002

Gaetano Faleo is currently finalizing his work on assessing immune response to stem-cell derived islet grafts and on evaluating effectiveness of immune protection using a novel encapsulation device. The results obtained during this investigation led to a phase 1/2 clinical trial (NCT02239354) initiated in September 2014 to assess safety, tolerability, and efficacy of (VC-01™), a combination product of hESC-derived islets encapsulated in Encaptra™ devices.

Gaetano is also currently interested to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying islet death in the first few days after transplant and to develop biochemical and bioengineering approaches to prevent islet death. Successful completion of this work has the potential to dramatically decrease the number of islets required to achieve insulin independence and improve long-term outcome. When combined with stem cell-derived islet transplantation, prevention of islet attrition during peri-transplant period will enable broader clinical use of islet transplantation for diabetic patients

  • 2012-D-018-FEL (PI) 07/01/2012 - 06/30/2015, Larry L. Hillblom Foundation $54545 direct/yr1, Geometric and Functional Encapsulation of Islets for Transplantation $163635 total
  • 3-SRA-2014-254-Q-R (Key Personnel) 08/01/2014 - 07/31/2016. JDRF $250,000 direct/yr1, Nanoporous injectable thin film devices for islet encapsulation $500,000 total
  • 7-14-BS-179 (Key Personnel) 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2017, American Diabetes Association $100,000 direct/yr1, Protection of Beta Cells from Peri-Transplant Stress-Induced Cell Death $300,000 total
  • 3-SRA-2015-37-Q-R (Key Personnel) 06/01/2015 - 05/31/2018, JDRF $350,000 direct/yr1, Intervascular Capsule for Islet Transplantation in Type I Diabetic Patients $1,050,000 total
  • (PI) 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012, UCSF/PBBR Opportunity Grant $15000 direct/yr1, Manipulating the Unfolded Protein Response to Promote Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Survival $15000 total
  • CIRM DR1-01423 (Key Personnel) 02/01/2010 - 01/31/2014, CIRM Disease Team Award $106,077 direct/yr1, Cell Therapy for Diabetes $454,711 total
Most recent publications from a total of 15
  1. Abdulreda MH, Molano RD, Faleo G, Lopez-Cabezas M, Shishido A, Ulissi U, Fotino C, Hernandez LF, Tschiggfrie A, Aldrich VR, Tamayo-Garcia A, Bayer AS, Ricordi C, Caicedo A, Buchwald P, Pileggi A, Berggren PO. Correction to: In vivo imaging of type 1 diabetes immunopathology using eye-transplanted islets in NOD mice. Diabetologia. 2019 Jun 12. View in PubMed
  2. Abdulreda MH, Molano RD, Faleo G, Lopez-Cabezas M, Shishido A, Ulissi U, Fotino C, Hernandez LF, Tschiggfrie A, Aldrich VR, Tamayo-Garcia A, Bayer AS, Ricordi C, Caicedo A, Buchwald P, Pileggi A, Berggren PO. In vivo imaging of type 1 diabetes immunopathology using eye-transplanted islets in NOD mice. Diabetologia. 2019 Jul; 62(7):1237-1250. View in PubMed
  3. Faleo G, Russ HA, Wisel S, Parent AV, Nguyen V, Nair GG, Freise JE, Villanueva KE, Szot GL, Hebrok M, Tang Q. Mitigating Ischemic Injury of Stem Cell-Derived Insulin-Producing Cells after Transplant. Stem Cell Reports. 2017 09 12; 9(3):807-819. View in PubMed
  4. Chang R, Faleo G, Russ HA, Parent AV, Elledge SK, Bernards DA, Allen JL, Villanueva K, Hebrok M, Tang Q, Desai TA. Nanoporous Immunoprotective Device for Stem-Cell-Derived ß-Cell Replacement Therapy. ACS Nano. 2017 08 22; 11(8):7747-7757. View in PubMed
  5. Faleo G, Lee K, Nguyen V, Tang Q. Assessment of Immune Isolation of Allogeneic Mouse Pancreatic Progenitor Cells by a Macroencapsulation Device. Transplantation. 2016 06; 100(6):1211-8. View in PubMed
  6. Song S, Faleo G, Yeung R, Kant R, Posselt AM, Desai TA, Tang Q, Roy S. Silicon nanopore membrane (SNM) for islet encapsulation and immunoisolation under convective transport. Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 24; 6:23679. View in PubMed
  7. Nyitray CE, Chang R, Faleo G, Lance KD, Bernards DA, Tang Q, Desai TA. Polycaprolactone Thin-Film Micro- and Nanoporous Cell-Encapsulation Devices. ACS Nano. 2015 Jun 23; 9(6):5675-82. View in PubMed
  8. Faleo G, Berggren PO, Pileggi A. Intravital imaging of cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Methods Mol Biol. 2014; 1186:121-9. View in PubMed
  9. Faleo G, Fotino C, Bocca N, Molano RD, Zahr-Akrawi E, Molina J, Villate S, Umland O, Skyler JS, Bayer AL, Ricordi C, Pileggi A. Prevention of autoimmune diabetes and induction of ß-cell proliferation in NOD mice by hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Diabetes. 2012 Jul; 61(7):1769-78. View in PubMed
  10. Abdulreda MH, Faleo G, Molano RD, Lopez-Cabezas M, Molina J, Tan Y, Echeverria OA, Zahr-Akrawi E, Rodriguez-Diaz R, Edlund PK, Leibiger I, Bayer AL, Perez V, Ricordi C, Caicedo A, Pileggi A, Berggren PO. High-resolution, noninvasive longitudinal live imaging of immune responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 02; 108(31):12863-8. View in PubMed
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  2. 2007 American Transplant Congress - World Transplant Congress Invited Lecturer
  3. 2007 European Society of Transplantation Invited Lecturer
  4. 2007 Basic Science Symposium of the Transplantation Society Invited Lecturer
  5. 2007 American Urological Association Invited Lecturer
  6. 2008 American Transplant Congress Invited Lecturer
  7. 2009 American Diabetes Association Invited Lecturer
  8. 2009 The Cell Transplant Society - Japan Society for Organ Preservation and Medical Biology Joint Conference Invited Lecturer
  9. 2009 American Transplant Congress - World Transplant Congress Invited Lecturer
  10. 2009 IPITA-IXA Invited Lecturer
  11. 2012 Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies - FOCIS Invited Lecturer
  12. 2013 Keystone Symposia Invited Lecturer
  13. 2013 IPITA-IXA Invited Lecturer
  14. 2014
  15. 2015 Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies - FOCIS
  16. IPITA-IXA-CTS Joint Congress Invited Lecturer
View all
  1. Faleo G and Tang Q. Immune modulation for stem cell therapy. H.S. Bernstein (ed.), Tissue Engineering in Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
  2. Faleo G, Berggren PO, Pileggi A. Intravital Imaging of Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes. Cytotoxic T-Cells. Methods in Molecular Biology. Vol. 1186, 2014, pp 121-129.


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