Research & Publications
My current research is focused on:
1) Validation of PET radioligands to image pancreatic beta cell mass. Initial studies have demonstrated that a dopamine receptor agonist (11C-(+)-PHNO) has potential utility in measuring beta cell mass of type 1 diabetics and healthy controls (Bini, et al, JNM 2020 & Bini, et al JNM 2018). On-going studies are currently being performed to understand the role of dopamine receptors in the pancreas in both type 1 and type 2 diabetic populations (JDRF and Yale Diabetes Research Center Pilot, NIH NIDDK R03).
2) The role of the cortisol activating enzyme (11β-HSD1) in obesity. Initial studies have demonstrated a reduction in radioligand binding in the brain with increasing body mass index, suggesting a possible role in obesity (Bini, et al, Mol Imaging and Biol, 2020). Current studies are examining the role of whole-body 11β-HSD1 enzyme levels in brain, liver and adipose tissue in cross-sectional human studies of lean and obese individuals and preclinical rodent studies during the progression from lean to obese with and without fatty liver disease (NIH NIDDK K01, YCCI pilot, Yale Liver Center ).
Adipose Tissue; Biomedical Engineering; Brain; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Endocrinology; Liver; Neuroendocrinology; Obesity; Pancreas; Stress, Physiological; Whole Body Imaging; Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography