Nephrology Faculty Research Activities

Dr. Melissa Anslow’s research interest is in determining better diagnostic and prognostic markers for vesicoureteral reflux (abnormal backflow of urine from the bladder to the kidney), which can cause urinary tract infections, hypertension, and end stage kidney disease in some children. Using a mouse model in which microRNAs (noncoding portions of the genome that regulate gene expression) are deleted in the developing lower urinary tract, she has discovered increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux, aberrant ureter insertion into the bladder, and abnormalities in early development of the urinary tract in mutant mice. Current and future work aims to determine the underlying mechanisms by which microRNAs regulate proper ureter insertion into the bladder, and to identify specific microRNAs involved in the prevention of vesicoureteral reflux.

Carlton M. Bates, MD has clinical interests that span all of nephrology but he has a particular interest in genetic and/or structural kidney and lower urinary tract disease. His research interests include molecular control and kidney and lower urinary tract development and in postnatal bladder injury. His primary focus has been on the role of fibroblast growth factor signaling in these disease processes and uses genetic mouse models to that end. He has produced many mutant mice that mimic a variety of structural kidney and lower urinary tract diseases.

Dr. Dana Fuhrman is board certified in both pediatric nephrology and intensive care medicine. She practices in both specialties clinically. Her clinical interests are in acute kidney injury and the use of acute renal replacement therapy. As a researcher she is studying methods to predict and prevent kidney disease in young adults with congenital heart disease.

Jacqueline Ho, MD is the pediatric nephrology fellowship program director and her clinical interests are in genetic/structural causes of kidney disease in childhood. Her research program is focused on understanding the role of microRNAs in kidney development and disease. Her laboratory has recently shown that microRNAs are involved in regulating the proliferation and survival of nephron progenitors in the developing kidney, which has important implications for congenital nephron endowment and subsequent kidney health in children and adults.

Dr. Emily Joyce’s research is focused on identifying medications and medication combinations that contribute to development of acute kidney injury (AKI) in critically ill children. The overall goal of her research is to understand the risk for, and consequences of, medication-associated AKI. She is dedicated to following children who had an episode of AKI while in the intensive care unit and monitoring them for signs of chronic kidney disease in subsequent years, to enable interventions that would maximize the kidney health of at-risk children.

Yosuke Miyashita, MD, MPH’s clinical focus is on pediatric hypertension including 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Dr. Miyashita is partnering with the Preventative Cardiology program to create a multidisciplinary hypertension clinic. His research interest is also focused on pediatric hypertension including improving the diagnosis of hypertension in children with chronic conditions and in the general population. Dr. Miyashita is the main representative for the division in the Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium to participate in various multi-centered clinical studies in pediatric nephrology.

Michael Moritz, MD's primary research interests are in sodium and water metabolism in children. Dr. Moritz in an expert on the epidemiology, evaluation and treatment of dysnatremias in children and adults. Dr. Moritz was the first to recommend the use of 0.9% sodium chloride in maintenance fluids in hospitalized children as prophylaxis against developing hospital acquired hyponatremia. Dr. Moritz also introduced the concept of using repeated 3% sodium chloride boluses for the treatment of hyponatremic encephalopathy which is now become the accepted therapy. Dr. Moritz is also an expert in salt poisoning in children and has been involved in multiple alleged salt poisoning criminal cases.

Dr. Christina Nguyen serves as the medical director of the pediatric kidney transplant program. She is the site principal investigator for Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative (IROC) which focuses on quality improvement in pediatric kidney transplant recipients. Additionally, she has a research interests in the impact of psychosocial risk factors on kidney transplant recipients and methods to improve medical adherence in transplant recipients.