Islet Autotransplant Research Program

Dr. Bellin group photo

Research Program Focus

Dr. Bellin’s research is focused on understanding and improving outcomes after islet transplantation.  Islet transplant is a specialized procedure in which islets are harvested from the pancreas and infused back in the liver.  This procedure can be performed for patients who are having a pancreatectomy to treat chronic pancreatitis (total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplant) or for patients who have type 1 diabetes (alloislet transplant).

This is a clinical research team.  All research we are conducting is clinical or translational in nature, and relies on human research participants or biological specimens collected from research participants.  Specific efforts of this group are addressing important clinical challenges, including:

  • Determining which patients will have pain relief and improved quality of life from total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplant and when to intervene with major surgery for chronic pancreatitis.
  • Understanding factors that impact the number of islets that can be isolated out of a pancreas
  • Developing new therapies to improve the survival and engraftment of transplanted islets
  • Understanding the outcomes of total pancreatectomy islet autotransplant in children with genetic pancreatitis
  • Understanding risk and mechanisms underlying diabetes in pancreatitis
  • How to best use cell transplant therapy (beta cell replacement therapy) to reverse need for insulin injections in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Training

We have opportunities for a small number of students to participate in clinical research projects.  These positions are unfunded. However, depending on their training program, trainees may be able to get credit for a research rotation. If you are interested in more information you can contact Dr. Melena Bellin at bell0130@umn.edu

Abstracts

Functional outcomes after extrahepatic transplantation of islets in a pilot cohort of TPIAT patients
KR McEachron, GJ Beilman, TB Dunn, TL Pruett, V Kirchner, MD Bellin

Read abstract that was presented at the 2019 Pancreas Club meeting in San Diego, CA
View the Poster

Changes in inflammatory cytokine levels in acute and subacute phases of islet engraftment after total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation (TPIAT)
KR McEachron, GJ Beilman, S Chinnakotla, TL Pruett, TB Dunn, V Kirchner, MD Bellin

Read the abstract that was presented at PancreasFest 2019 in Pittsburgh, PA

Age, but not Disease Duration, is Associated With Disability and Impaired Quality of Life in Patients Undergoing Total Pancreatectomy-Islet Autotransplantation in the POST Study
McEachron KR, Yang Y, Abu-El-Haija M, Adams D, Ahmad S, Balamurugan AN, Beilman GJ, Chinnakotla S, Conwell DL, Freeman ML, Gardner T, Hatipoglu B, Hodges J, Hughes M, Kirchner V, Lara LF, Mitchell R, Morgan K, Nathan JD, Naziruddin B, Posselt A, Pruett TL, Singh VK, Smith K, Steel J, Wijkstrom M, Witkowski P, Bellin MD

Read the abstract that was presented at the 2019 American Pancreatic Association Meeting in Maui, HI

Changes In Entroendocrine Hormones After Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation
McEachron KR, Beilman GJ, Pruett TL, Kirchner VA, Freeman ML, Trikudanathan G, Mulier KE, Ptacek P, Bellin MD

Read the abstract that was presented at the 2019 American Pancreatic Assoication Meeting in Maui, HI

Early Introduction of a Continuous Glucose Monitor in a Pediatric Population after Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation
McEachron KR, Beilman GJ, Chinnakotla S, Bellin MD

Read the abstract that was presented at the 2019 American Pancreatic Association Meeting in Maui, HI