Melena Bellin, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, at the University of Minnesota (UM). In this position, she devotes 75% of her time to patient-oriented research in the field of islet transplantation. Specific goals during this career development award period will include: 1) improved knowledge in clinical trials management, immunology, and islet transplantation;2) publication of 2 peer-reviewed manuscripts per year;3) completion of a clinical trial as described below;and 4) submission of a R-series research grant in the last 2 years of this award. Dr. Bellin has had formal training in patient-oriented research as a student in the M.S. program in Clinical Research at UM. She has been a co-investigator in cohort studies and small non-randomized clinical trials in islet transplant. She will build upon this foundation during the career development award period through formal training in more specific areas related to her research, attendance at national and international conferences in her field, and by conducting a large randomized clinical trial. Under the guidance of Dr. Antoinette Moran, the project mentor, Dr. Bellin will conduct a randomized double-blinded controlled trial evaluating the effect of sitagliptin treatment following total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplant on insulin independence and islet function. This project will have two aims: 1) to determine if treatment with a DPP-4 inhibitor after total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplant increases the proportion of recipients achieving insulin independence, and 2) to evaluate whether preoperative tests of islet function correlate with islet yield. Although incretin-based therapies have been used in very small, non-randomized trials of islet allotransplantation, this will be the first large randomized study to investigate such a therapy in islet autotransplant. Research projects will be conducted under the guidance of a mentor and co-mentors experienced in the fields of diabetes and islet transplant research-- Dr. Antoinette Moran, Dr. Bernhard Hering, and Dr. David Sutherland. The extensive experience with islet transplants at UM makes this an ideal environment for this research focus. Overall scholarly progress will be monitored by regular meetings with an advisory committee.

Public Health Relevance

Islet transplant is an emerging new treatment for chronic pancreatitis and type 1 diabetes mellitus. This project will explore patient characteristics and an intervention which may improve the success of islet transplant.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee (DDK)
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Hyde, James F
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Crosby, Jill; Bellin, Melena D; Radosevich, David M et al. (2015) Gastrointestinal symptoms before and after total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation: the role of pancreatic enzyme dosing and adherence. Pancreas 44:453-8
Bellin, Melena D; Gelrud, Andres; Arreaza-Rubin, Guillermo et al. (2014) Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation: summary of a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases workshop. Pancreas 43:1163-71
Suszynski, Thomas M; Wilhelm, Joshua J; Radosevich, David M et al. (2014) Islet size index as a predictor of outcomes in clinical islet autotransplantation. Transplantation 97:1286-91
Chinnakotla, Srinath; Radosevich, David M; Dunn, Ty B et al. (2014) Long-term outcomes of total pancreatectomy and islet auto transplantation for hereditary/genetic pancreatitis. J Am Coll Surg 218:530-43
Bellin, M D; Parazzoli, S; Oseid, E et al. (2014) Defective glucagon secretion during hypoglycemia after intrahepatic but not nonhepatic islet autotransplantation. Am J Transplant 14:1880-6
Forlenza, Gregory P; Chinnakotla, Srinath; Schwarzenberg, Sarah J et al. (2014) Near-euglycemia can be achieved safely in pediatric total pancreatectomy islet autotransplant recipients using an adapted intravenous insulin infusion protocol. Diabetes Technol Ther 16:706-13
Bellin, Melena D; Freeman, Martin L; Gelrud, Andres et al. (2014) Total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation in chronic pancreatitis: recommendations from PancreasFest. Pancreatology 14:27-35
Ngo, Anh; Sutherland, David E R; Beilman, Gregory J et al. (2014) Deterioration of glycemic control after corticosteroid administration in islet autotransplant recipients: a cautionary tale. Acta Diabetol 51:141-5
Morinville, Veronique D; Lowe, Mark E; Ahuja, Monika et al. (2014) Design and implementation of INSPPIRE. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 59:360-4
Chinnakotla, Srinath; Bellin, Melena D; Schwarzenberg, Sarah J et al. (2014) Total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation in children for chronic pancreatitis: indication, surgical techniques, postoperative management, and long-term outcomes. Ann Surg 260:56-64

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