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).
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 (NIH NIDDK K01).
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