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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Bellin, M D; Beilman, G J; Dunn, T B et al. (2017) Sitagliptin Treatment After Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Am J Transplant 17:443-450
Bellin, Melena D; Forlenza, Gregory P; Majumder, Kaustav et al. (2017) Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation Resolves Pain in Young Children With Severe Chronic Pancreatitis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 64:440-445
Bellin, Melena D; Kerdsirichairat, Tossapol; Beilman, Gregory J et al. (2016) Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation Improves Quality of Life in Patients With Refractory Recurrent Acute Pancreatitis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 14:1317-23
Forlenza, G P; Nathan, B M; Moran, A M et al. (2016) Successful Application of Closed-Loop Artificial Pancreas Therapy After Islet Autotransplantation. Am J Transplant 16:527-34
Muratore, S; Zeng, X; Korc, M et al. (2016) Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma After Total Pancreatectomy Islet Autotransplantation for Chronic Pancreatitis. Am J Transplant 16:2747-52
Lundberg, Rachel; Beilman, Gregory J; Dunn, Ty B et al. (2016) Early Alterations in Glycemic Control and Pancreatic Endocrine Function in Nondiabetic Patients With Chronic Pancreatitis. Pancreas 45:565-71
Young, Michael C; Theis, Jake R; Hodges, James S et al. (2016) Preoperative Computerized Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Pancreas Predicts Pancreatic Mass and Functional Outcomes After Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Autotransplant. Pancreas 45:961-6
Papas, Klearchos K; Bellin, Melena D; Sutherland, David E R et al. (2015) Islet Oxygen Consumption Rate (OCR) Dose Predicts Insulin Independence in Clinical Islet Autotransplantation. PLoS One 10:e0134428
Bellin, Melena D; Gelrud, Andres; Arreaza-Rubin, Guillermo et al. (2015) Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation: summary of an NIDDK workshop. Ann Surg 261:21-9
Bellin, M D; Moran, A; Wilhelm, J J et al. (2015) Development of Autoimmune-Mediated ? Cell Failure After Total Pancreatectomy With Autologous Islet Transplantation. Am J Transplant 15:1991-4

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