Division of nephrology

Basic Research

Director of Basic Renal Research: Dr. P. Darwin Bell, DCI Professor

The Division of Nephrology offers a large number of opportunities in many different areas of interest for Basic Research experience.  Funding for basic research in the Division of Nephrology is available from numerous sources, including the Public Health Service(NIH) Research Training Grant, Department of Veterans Affairs REAP Award, Divisional and University Research monies, National Science Foundation, corporate sponsorship and private fountations or associations (NKF, AHA, etc.).  The Nephrology faculty use a variety of contemporary models and methods to investigate major areas of interest relevant to kidney disease:

  • Renal tubular epithelial cell function
  • Fundamental signal transduction mechanisims
  • Renal physiology
  • Oxidant biology and pathopyhsiology
  • Progression of renal disease in animal and cell culture models
  • Urine biomarkers of acute renal failure
  • Glomerular Renin-Angiotensin system
  • Renal Proteomics
  • The role of cilia in Polycystic kidney disease

Basic research questions are also addressed by using various animal models including transgenic mice, and a number of different rodent and murine strains and occasionally other species as model systems.  All of these systems are integrated with cell culture models and in vitro biochemical methodology to address questions regarding mechanisms of renal tubular and glomerlar function and diseases.  Techniques include micropuncture, isolated perfused glomeruli, animal and organ hemodynamic measurements, histochemistry, patch-clamp, confocal microscopy, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and various contemporary biochemical/molecular biology methods (targeted gene deletion, dominant negative cDNA transfections, generation and expression of mutant signaling molecules, protein/RNA/DNA blotting and PCR, phosphorylation assays, microphysiometry, gel proteomics, DIGE, real-time PCR).

All of our clinical faculty have active collaborations with basic scientists from the Division of Nephrology or from other disciplines, providing further expertise in human and animal genetics, positional cloning, environmental toxicology, therapeutic ribozymes, theraputic and experimental antisense oligonucleotides, viral vectors, confocal microscopy, fluorescent automated cell sorting, and real time analysis of transcription in living cells.


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