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Published:  August 22, 2011

Jacqueline Lappin, MD, to Lead Pancreas Transplantation Program at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Cooley Transplant Center®

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (St. Luke’s) announces that Jacqueline Lappin, MD, will lead the pancreas transplantation program at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Cooley Transplant Center. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Cooley Transplant Center offers innovative programs for patients needing pancreas transplant alone, pancreas-after-kidney transplant or combined kidney-pancreas transplant. For almost three decades, St. Luke’s has provided quality healthcare to patients referred for heart, lung, kidney and liver transplantation, as well as implantation of Left Ventricular Assist Devices. 

“Dr. Lappin is renowned for her work in transplantation. Under her leadership, our pancreas transplantation program is poised to become a center of excellence, providing the highest level of quality care to those in need of a transplant,” says Margaret M. Van Bree, DrPH, chief executive officer, SLEH, and senior vice president, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System. “The St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Cooley Transplant Center team continues to positively impact lives, truly giving organ transplant recipients a second chance.”  

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 25.8 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the population, have diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is associated with the development of significant morbidity. Approximately one third of all these patients will develop renal failure and, universally, it is the second most common cause of blindness. Patients with type I diabetes (insulin-dependent) and kidney disease experience the greatest benefit of all groups from kidney and pancreas transplantation. Physicians typically recommend pancreas transplants together with a kidney transplant for patients with type 1 diabetes and renal failure, or a pancreas transplant alone in such patients with normal renal function to:

  • Manage life-threatening hypoglycemic unawareness (severe low-blood sugar);
  • Manage severe recurrent metabolic instability, despite exogenous insulin;
  • Prevent, stop and/or reverse diabetes complications; and,
  • Improve the patient’s quality of life.

“Working collaboratively with Dr. John Goss, the chief of the division of abdominal transplantation at Baylor College of Medicine and associate chief of transplant at St. Luke’s, has been a dream for years,” says Lappin. “I am truly delighted to join the Baylor College of Medicine academic surgical team.”

Lappin attended University College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and served as a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.  She completed her preliminary general surgery residency at The Medical Center of Delaware and a general surgery residency at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She performed her transplant fellowship within the Division of Immunology and Organ Transplantation at The University of Texas Medical School. Having spent time at the University of Minnesota with Dr. David Sutherland, a pioneer in solid organ pancreas transplantation, Lappin strives to expand the pancreas program, with particular emphasis on the combined use of simultaneous live kidney and deceased donor pancreas transplantation for patients with abnormal renal function.

Lappin will serve as surgical director for the pancreas transplantation program and Bhamidipati V.R. Murthy, MBBS, MD, DM, will serve as medical director. Additionally, Kanae Ishihara, MD is joining the pancreas transplantation team.

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital Cooley Transplant Center continues to develop new approaches to treat patients with organ failure and enhance their quality of life. St. Luke’s, home of the Texas Heart Institute, is world-renowned for the nation’s first successful heart transplant. Additionally, the largest liver transplant program in Houston's Texas Medical Center, the team has performed more than 1,000 liver transplants since 1998, making St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Cooley Transplant Center one of the premier centers in the country*. The program’s liver transplant survival rate—the best indicator of the program's success—is the highest in Houston. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Cooley Transplant Center’s one year adult patient survival rate is 94.98 percent, statistically significantly higher than the national 88.72 percent expected survival rate.  With the addition of pancreas transplantation, St. Luke’s offers a robust, comprehensive multi-organ transplant program.

*Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR)

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