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Metabolic Evaluation of Islet Transplant Function

188.1 - Metabolic Evaluation of Islet Transplant Function - Principles and New Concepts

Presenter: Michael R., Rickels, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Authors: Michael R. Rickels


Islet transplantation is an emerging cell therapy for the treatment of established, i.e. C-peptide negative, type 1 diabetes, in particular for patients experiencing problematic hypoglycemia or already receiving immunosuppression in support of a functioning kidney transplant. While documenting recovery of and monitoring islet beta-cell function is important to understanding metabolic outcomes, also important is the metabolic evaluation of the effect of islet transplant function on measures of hypoglycemia awareness, hypoglycemia severity, and glycemic variability or lability, and in the context of overall glycemic control. Such metrics should be standardized across existing (e.g. whole pancreas) and future (e.g. artificial pancreas) beta-cell replacement approaches in order to best understand the relative benefits of each approach and to design comparative studies


Dr. Rickels is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he has served as Medical Director for the Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplant Program since 2008, and spent over 10 years investigating the metabolic consequences of clinical islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes using in vivo methods to quantitate beta-cell secretory capacity as an estimate of surviving islet mass, insulin sensitivity and demand in islet recipients, and glucose counterregulation as the ultimate defense against hypoglycemia. Dr. Rickels’ research is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he presently serves on the Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity Study Section (2014-2018), and in the past by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation where he served on the Clinical Investigations Study Section (2006-2008). Dr. Rickels is currently an investigator for the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange Clinic Registry supported by the Helmsley Charitable Trust. He has served as member on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2009-2013) and Cell Transplantation (2009-present), and as member of the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions planning committee (2012-2014). Dr. Rickels has chaired the metabolics study subcommittee for the NIH-sponsored Clinical Islet Transplantation consortium since 2004, and the publications and presentations committee for the NIH- and JDRF-sponsored Collaborative Islet Transplant Registry since 2010, and was recently elected as a Councilor for the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association (2015-2019). Through his clinical practice and research in diabetes, Dr. Rickels is committed to translating and advancing complimentary approaches for beta-cell replacement as treatment for patients with difficult to control type 1 diabetes.

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