- Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1998
- M.P.H., Harvard University, 1986
- B.S., M.D., Loma Linda University, 1978
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease worldwide and is a major cause of death and disability. Our research goal is to find the causes and identify new and effective treatments to slow the progression or prevent the development of diabetic kidney disease.
Our lab has worked with the Pima Indians in Arizona since 1986, focusing primarily on the kidney complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Current activities include identifying biomarkers and underlying mechanisms for diabetic kidney disease and characterizing the structural and functional changes within the kidneys that occur with the development and progression of diabetic kidney disease. Gene expression in kidney tissue and epigenetic modification of gene expression is also a major focus of our work.
- Pima Indian Contributions to Our Understanding of Diabetic Kidney Disease.
- Nelson RG, Knowler WC, Kretzler M, Lemley KV, Looker HC, Mauer M, Mitch WE, Najafian B, Bennett PH.
- Diabetes (2021 Aug) 70:1603-1616. Abstract/Full Text
- Comprehensive Search for Novel Circulating miRNAs and Axon Guidance Pathway Proteins Associated with Risk of ESKD in Diabetes.
- Satake E, Saulnier PJ, Kobayashi H, Gupta MK, Looker HC, Wilson JM, Md Dom ZI, Ihara K, O'Neil K, Krolewski B, Pipino C, Pavkov ME, Nair V, Bitzer M, Niewczas MA, Kretzler M, Mauer M, Doria A, Najafian B, Kulkarni RN, Duffin KL, Pezzolesi MG, Kahn CR, Nelson RG, Krolewski AS.
- J Am Soc Nephrol (2021 Sep) 32:2331-2351. Abstract/Full Text
Research in Plain Language
Research involving the Pima Indians has greatly increased our understanding of type 2 diabetes. Our lab has been part of this effort since 1986, concentrating on the kidney complications caused by diabetes. What does the development and progression of diabetic kidney disease look like biologically? How can it be identified and, ultimately, arrested? These are the research questions that we study.
Our ability to prevent and treat disease relies on our understanding of when it is present, what are its underlying mechanisms, and how it progresses. Scientists and clinicians rely on biomarkers—biological indicators that identify disease and disease progression. Our lab is working to characterize the changes in kidney structure and function that occur with diabetes and to identify biomarkers for diabetic kidney disease. A major part of our work is to better understand the role that specific genes and proteins play in the chain of chemical reactions that result in kidney injury and disease progression.