A photo of Deborah Elder.

Director of Endocrinology, Pancreas Care Center

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Board Certified

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"I approach each child as if they were my own. I often ask myself, 'If this were my child, what would I want from my provider and the management plan?'"

My Biography & Research


During medical school, I was influenced by mentors and positive role models to enter the pediatrics field. As a pediatric endocrinologist and diabetes specialist, I approach each child as if they were my own. I often ask myself, “If this were my child, what would I want from my provider and the management plan?”

In my practice, I'm a strong patient advocate. I’m the lead endocrinologist within the Division of Pulmonology and Director of Endocrinology within the Pancreas Care Canter. I provide care for children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis and those with acute recurrent and chronic pancreatitis.

TPIAT, or total pancreatectomy with islet auto transplantation, is surgery for severe, debilitating pain from acute recurrent and chronic pancreatitis. We’ve created and utilized a TPIAT clinical registry to maintain better communication and management with our patients who have undergone this procedure.

I am studying beta-cell function in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis and those who are being evaluated for a TPIAT procedure.

In my spare time, I enjoy trying new recipes, gardening and spending time outdoors.

Clinical Interests

Type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes; cystic-fibrosis-related diabetes; assessment of beta-cell function in the evaluation of total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation (TPAIT) in children with chronic pancreatitis; growth disorders; precocious puberty; pancreatic center member; cystic fibrosis and endocrine combined clinic; lung transplantation center member.

Research Interests

Beta-cell function and glucose tolerance in a variety of different diabetes conditions.

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Endocrinology, Pulmonary Medicine, Diabetes, Pancreas Care, Cystic Fibrosis Center

Research Divisions


My Locations

My Education

BS: Michigan State University, 1991.

MD: University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, 1995.

Residency: Indiana University Riley Hospital For Children, Indianapolis, IN, 1998.

Fellowship: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 2001.

Certification: Pediatric endocrinology.

My Publications

Islet cell transplantation in children. Balamurugan, AN; Elder, DA; Abu-El-Haija, M; Nathan, JD. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 2020; 29.

In-hospital and 90-day outcomes after total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation for pediatric chronic and acute recurrent pancreatitis. Kotagal, M; Slusher, J; Ahmad, S; Aronson, LA; Brunner, J; Chima, R; Elder, DA; Goldschneider, KR; Hornung, L; Lin, TK; et al. American Journal of Transplantation. 2019; 19:1187-1194.

Prevalence of abnormal glucose metabolism in pediatric acute, acute recurrent and chronic pancreatitis. Abu-El-Haija, M; Hornung, L; Denson, LA; Husami, A; Lin, TK; Matlock, K; Nathan, JD; Palermo, JJ; Thompson, T; Valencia, CA; et al. PLoS ONE. 2018; 13.

Relationship between exercise capacity and glucose tolerance in cystic fibrosis. Foster, K; Huang, G; Zhang, N; Crisalli, J; Chini, B; Amin, R; Elder, D. Pediatric Pulmonology. 2018; 53:154-161.

Severe fasting hypoglycemia in a child after total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation. Redel, JM; Nathan, JD; Abu-El-Haija, M; Lin, TK; Palermo, JJ; Elder, DA. Pediatric Transplantation. 2018; 22.

β-Cell Function Over Time in Adolescents With New Type 2 Diabetes and Obese Adolescents Without Diabetes. Elder, DA; Hornung, LN; Khoury, JC; D'Alessio, DA. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2017; 61:703-708.

Effect of Oral Insulin on Prevention of Diabetes in Relatives of Patients With Type 1 Diabetes: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Atkinson, M; Krischer, J; Moran, A; Peakman, M; Spain, L; Schatz, DA; Sosenko, J; Antinozzi, P; Benoist, C; Bourcier, K; et al. JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association. 2017; 318:1891-1902.

Obesity is associated with an altered HDL subspecies profile among adolescents with metabolic disease. Davidson, WS; Heink, A; Sexmith, H; Dolan, LM; Gordon, SM; Otvos, JD; Melchior, JT; Elder, DA; Khoury, J; Geh, E; et al. Journal of Lipid Research. 2017; 58:1916-1923.

Weight loss surgery in adolescents corrects high-density lipoprotein subspecies and their function. Davidson, WS; Inge, TH; Sexmith, H; Heink, A; Elder, D; Hui, DY; Melchior, JT; Kelesidis, T; Shah, AS. International Journal of Obesity. 2017; 41:83-89.

The incretin effect in obese adolescents with and without type 2 diabetes: impaired or intact?. Aulinger, BA; Vahl, TP; Prigeon, RL; D'Alessio, DA; Elder, DA. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2016; 310:E774-E781.