About the Branch
The mission of the Kidney Diseases Branch is to promote the fundamental understanding of kidney function in health and disease and to devise improved therapies for kidney disease.
The kidney is an organ essential for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, regulating mineral metabolism, producing hormones, and excreting metabolic wastes and drug metabolites. Chronic kidney disease requiring replacement therapy in the form of dialysis or transplantation is a major public health problem, affecting an estimated 500,000 Americans. It is also an important health disparity, disproportionately affecting individuals of different ethnicities.
KDB researchers study different aspects of the kidney, primarily focusing on kidney disease.
- The Immunoregulation Section studies the basic mechanisms of tissue inflammation and its resolution. Our research focusses on the micro-environmental signals that drive inflammation in tissues and how these are integrated by networks of transcription factors in immune cells, such as T cells. By understanding the basic mechanisms of disease we endeavor to prevent tissue inflammation in kidneys, accelerate its resolution and minimize loss of inflamed tissues from scarring.
- The Kidney Disease Section studies causes and therapy for two of the most common types of glomerular diseases (those affecting the filtering units of the kidney), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and immunologically-mediated glomerulonephritis.
- The Polycystic Kidney Disease Laboratory studies a disease that affects nearly 1 in 500 Americans and is the fourth most common cause of end-stage kidney disease in the United States.
- The Renal Function and Injury Section studies sepsis-induced acute kidney injury, which complicates about 5% of all hospitalizations and is estimated to affect more than half of all patients in intensive care units.
The purpose of our work is to define the factors that cause and promote particular kidney diseases, and to find more effective and safer treatment for these kidney diseases.