U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Peter Yuen

 Contact Info

Tel: 301-402-6702
Email: petery@mail.nih.gov

 Select Experience

  • Research Fellow/Staff ScientistNIDDK, NIH2001-present
  • Visiting ScientistMassachusetts Institute of Technology2000-2001
  • Assistant ProfessorUniversity of Tennessee1994-2000
  • HHMI Associate/Assistant InstructorVanderbilt University/University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center1989-1994
  • Ph.D.University of Minnesota1989

 Related Links

  • Translational
Research Summary/In Plain Language

Research Summary

Research Goal

We seek mechanism-based tools to identify, classify, treat, and monitor kidney disease.  Our short-term goal is to improve the quantity and quality of clinical trials.  Our long-term goal is to adjust therapies in individual patients to maximize efficacy and minimize toxicity.

Current Research

We leverage the synergy between pathophysiology, therapeutics, and biomarkers to advance our understanding of acute and chronic kidney disease.  We refine animal models to mimic disease characteristics identified in the clinic, especially by epidemiological studies.​

Applying our Research

Kidney disease is a major health burden, costing billions of dollars annually and affecting hundreds of thousands of people.  Acute kidney injury is a major risk factor for death in hospitalized patients, especially those with sepsis.  Only one therapeutic has been approved in the last 30 years for sepsis (with or without kidney injury), but it has recently been withdrawn from the market.

An estimated one in 15 adults has some form of chronic kidney disease (see http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/kustats/).  Although we have several therapies available, many patients do not respond to any therapy. We need new therapies to treat these individuals, but they should be based on our understanding of the disease, which is incomplete.  Our work will help increase our understanding and may lead to better treatments.

Need for Further Study

Our current understanding of the series of events that drive chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury comes from animal models, but their ability to predict how well therapies will work in human patients is limited.  In the animal models, we can get very detailed information about the disease that is not possible in patients.  Therefore, noninvasive biomarkers may be the best bridge between animal models and patients, and they need to be developed and validated extensively.