Scholarly Activity

Fellows Research Highlights

Mindy Lee, MD, PhD

I am interested in improving the diabetes care experience for pediatric patients and for clinicians by leveraging advancements in diabetes technology and clinical informatics tools.

I am currently working on several clinical research and quality improvement projects, including:

Structured support to initiate and sustain use of diabetes technology for youth with type 1 diabetes and public insurance.

Evaluating accuracy of continuous glucose monitors for youth with diabetes in hospital setting.

Standardizing hospital workflow related to diabetes technology use and anesthesia management of youth with diabetes.

Aaron Misakian, MD

I currently have two active IRB approved research projects.

The first, which is a recipient of funding provided by the Maternal & Child Health Research Institute, is a prospective longitudinal study examining the effects of gender affirming hormone therapy (i.e, testosterone and estrogen) on body composition (muscle and fat) and muscle strength in hormone naive transgender adolescents during the first 12 months of treatment. Measurements are conducted using DXA scans and dynamometry testing, then compared to matched controls from the Bone Mineral Density in Childhood Study. Understanding changes in body composition during adolescence is important because unlike adults, adolescents have accelerated rates of growth and changes in body composition that are associated with health outcomes later in life, such as the development of Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Primary mentorship is provided by Dr. Tandy Aye, senior mentorship by Dr. Mary Leonard. 

My second project, for which I am study lead, is a nationwide retrospective study examining the effects of subcutaneous (SQ) vs. intramuscular (IM) estrogen on feminization in transgender adolescent and adult females. While IM is the current standard of care for injectable estrogen among transgender females, many patients prefer SQ given that it can be given at home and is less painful. Additionally, SQ administration of exogenous testosterone in transgender males has already been validated and is widely used in gender clinics across the nation. Study sites include both rural and city populations in California, Utah, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Primary mentors on this project include Dr. Jonathan Avila and Dr. Holly Cooper.

Rebecca Johnson, MD

I have always felt strongly about caring for the patient as a whole and this has led to my interest in nutrition as medicine, which I feel is vastly underutilized in current practice. This is in part due to the lack of adequate and robust studies exploring the role of nutrition. This gap must be addressed, particularly in minoritized youth with type 2 diabetes, where nutrition is considered the foundational pillar of diabetes management. The role that whole food plant-based diets have in treatment of type 2 diabetes is gaining popularity in the adult population and adopting a whole food plant-based diet can both slow disease progression and prevent irreversible complications. However, acceptability and efficacy of a whole food plant-based diet are underexplored in children.

The primary objective of my IRB-approved proposal is to evaluate the role of whole food plant-based diets in children with type 2 diabetes. My overall hypothesis is that a whole food plant-based diet will be associated with improved health outcomes for youth with type 2 diabetes. This study is a cross-sectional study design to survey current plant-based dietary habits in youth with type 2 diabetes (Aim 1) and a pilot intervention of a whole food plant-based diet in children with type 2 diabetes (Aim 2).

Fellowship Program

Fellow Hilary Seeley '17 speaking at the 2017 UCSF 5th Pediatric Bone Health Symposium in San Francisco