Nephrology Research

The Nephrology Team of researchers focuses on pathophysiology of renal disease through basic laboratory.One of the key missions of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is to extend the knowledge of pathophysiology of renal disease through basic laboratory and clinical research.

Key nephrology research includes an investigative focus on nephropathy in type 1 diabetes and in pediatric renal transplantation outcomes. Other  areas of interest to Children’s researchers include proteinuria, hypertension, tubulointerstitial nephritis and dysnatremias.

Ongoing extramural grants support the investigation of the genetic epidemiology of urinary tract abnormalities and of the genetic aspects of nephrotic syndrome and of focal glomerulosclerosis. These are all common and important disorders in children. In addition Children’s researchers are conducting a biomarker-based study of BK virus, a polyoma virus, as it relates to renal allograft injury after renal transplantation in childhood.

Other nephrology research involves a study of the basic mechanisms of apoptosis in proximal tubular epithelial cells exposed to albumin to mimic the effect of proteinuric disorders in general.

Additionally, a cutting-edge research study is being done on trafficking of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) as it relates to chloride transport in renal epithelial cells. Another important study is investigating trafficking of nephrin in the glomerular basement membrane, an important structural protein that normally protects against proteinuria and nephrotic syndrome.

Additional Researchers

Rannar Airik, PhD
Sunder Sims-Lucas, PhD