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NORMAL BIOLOGY/DEVELOPMENT

Development and Regeneration

Before we can think about stem cells or iPS cell based therapies, we need to understand how renal epithelial cells are programmed. Basic studies in development and differentiation will help to identify factors that could be used for reprogramming. We may find that it is easier to reprogram a renal fibroblast or myofibroblast into an epithelial cell if we introduce the right combination of factors. These ideas are being ...more »

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GN/INFLAMMATION

Integrated systems biology to define renal disease

To take advantage of the rapidly emerging approaches in genomic medicine to define disease on the molecular level, cohorts of patients with large-scale molecular and clinical data sets on the same individual are be the rate-limiting step. Establishing these cohorts requires a long-term effort, but renal disease offer a unique advantage compared to other chronic diseases as we have access to the primary disease mechanism ...more »

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OTHER

In defense of serendipity: We cannot manage discovery by voting

Voting reflects the current makeup of our community and defines the common denominator of our imagination. Because we (scientists, administrators, politicians) cannot predict future need nor can we predict which idea will get us to any desired therapy, a certain amount of investment in avant garde hypotheses is essential to our continued success. The NIH has tried its best to put money to good and efficacious use but ...more »

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CKD

Disease self-management and health care transitiion

To improve the health outcomes of adolescents and emerging adults with CKD/ESKD as they transfer to adult-focused providers, a successful health care transition (HCT) process needs to take place. This preparation from parent-directed care to disease self management should be planned and monitored longitudinally. Tools to measure and monitor the HCT process need to be developed and validated.

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NORMAL BIOLOGY/DEVELOPMENT

In vitro Models for Kidney Disease

Currently disease analyses studies use 2D cell culture studies. Recent advances have shown that they do not mimic physiological conditions. Developing models using tissue engineering technologies allows better understanding of diseases while reducing time and money invested in animal models. These efforts could ultimately lead to regeneration of kidney.

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NORMAL BIOLOGY/DEVELOPMENT

Big and small science

Many younger investigators are drawn to big science labs where large scale GWAS, genomic, proteomic and other 'omic studies are performed. The expertize for teasing out defined physiological mechanisms is slowly but surely being lost. We need to ensure that funding is distributed in such a way that precious resources are not consumed generating mountains of data that may never be appropriately analyzed - we don't even ...more »

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PKD

Cilia and cyst formation: guilt by association

A convergence of data suggests that cilia are important in the pathogenesis of PKD. Despite intense investigation, the precise nature of this relationship remains unclear. It has been suggested that the the PKD1/PKD2 receptor channel complex acts as a flow sensor on renal epithelial cells. When this complex is inactivated (for any reason), cyst formation occurs. However, disruption of TRPV4 in MDCK cells results in ...more »

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TRAINING

Do we need a new model for Training Physican Scientists?

There are fewer and fewer nephrology trainees opting for a career in laboratory based kidney research. In our own training program the vast majority of renal fellows who want an academic career pursue training in clinical science. There are many reasons for this including (but not limited to) an extended training period in a field in which they may have little prior experience, the perceived uncertainty of maintaining ...more »

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DIABETIC NEPHROPATHY

Can biomarkers predict type 2 diabetic nephropathy?

The value of currently available urine biomarkers that identify those at risk for diabetic nephropathy is increasingly called into question. The development of new urine and plasma biomarkers to predict diabetic nephropathy may shed light on disease mechanisms. Also, rational clinical trial design will be made possible by such markers.

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NORMAL BIOLOGY/DEVELOPMENT

Targeted research or targeted training?

Over the past 20 years, the developing kidney has received recognition as a powerful model system to investigate the molecular regulation of several developmental programs including mesenchymal-to-epithelial conversions, branching morphogenesis, and segmentation of tubular structures into functional domains. This is due, in large part, to the generous support of the NIH in funding fundamental scientific research. This ...more »

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CKD

Causes and Prognosis of Decreased GFR by Race and Ethnicity

Chronic kidney disease disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities, but little is known about the determinants and consequences of decreased GFR (45-75 ml/min/1.73 m2) in these populations. Current studies are limited by non-representative populations, and gaps in knowledge about normal levels of measured GFR, appropriate methods to estimate GFR, associations of decreased GFR with development and progression ...more »

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NORMAL BIOLOGY/DEVELOPMENT

Role of epigenetics in normal development and its dysregulation

Investigate the role of epigenome disruptors that change gene activity and alter stem cell activity resulting in gene dysregulation. (Science 29 Oct 2010 330) “Epimutations” can pass through germ line to the gametes and affect heredity. Stem cells display developmental plasticity and offer opportunity to examine epigenetic peturbations during normal development such as DNA methylation as well as their response to injurious ...more »

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