The Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension has an exceptional faculty with over 20 NIH funded grants, placing the Division in the top ten in the country for research funding.
The Renal Division performs research in a wide variety of areas related to kidney disease, as well as related areas. A major area of long-standing interest is in acute kidney injury (AKI). Ongoing studies are focused on the role of the mTOR pathway and activation of the inflammasome in mediating kidney injury, as well as the role of complement in AKI. In light of an association between AKI and injury to other organs, studies are examining the contribution of AKTi to acute lung injury.
The Division has had a long-standing interest in polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Studies are focused both on the genetics of PKD in humans, as well as preclinical studies in animal models. Several clinical trials are being conducted by the PKD Center, focusing both on adults and children. Clinical studies are examining the role of vitamin D in chronic kidney disease as well as the link between cardiovascular disease and mineral-bone disorders. Studies on glomerulonephritis and minimal change disease have developed in the last two years. In addition, new collaborative studies are examining the pathogenesis of essential hypertension, with a focus on the role of uric acid and microvascular lesions in the kidney. This is complemented by basic studies on the role of vascular smooth muscle cells in mediating vascular injury. Interacting with these projects is a strong interest in mechanisms of diabetic nephropathy. These studies are using animal models, as well as moving into clinical studies. In the area of transplantation, sutides are defining markers of delayed graft function and using a variety of approaches to define biomarkers in conjunction with ongoing clinical trials. Finally, basic cell biology is being studied examining membrane trafficking in renal tubular cells, the pathways controlling phenotypic remodeling of vascular smooth muscle cells, and pathways of hormone signaling. These studies are supported by a world-class microscopy core, as well as support for clinical trials and bioinformatics.