19th Annual K-INBRE Symposium
Lisa Stehno-Bittel, PT, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
President and Co-Founder, Likarda, KAnsas City, Missouri
Dr. Stehno-Bittel has been a diabetes researcher for over 20 years. In that time her laboratory established modifications in the islet transplant procedure that helped to improve efficiency and reduce early graft failure. Later her lab developed a new method of miniaturizing islets to improve diffusion properties after implantation. In 2012 she licensed her patents from the University of Kansas and started the biotech company, Likarda, using family funds and within 17 months Likarda was profitable. Currently Likarda has 10 full time employees and 4 part time staff and holds a series of patents around encapsulation of cells to protect them from rejection after transplantation. Likarda is working on a commercial islet transplant product for diabetic dogs and cats and an encapsulated stem cell therapy for arthritis in horses and dogs.