• María Castañeda-Bueno, PhD

    2024 Joseph V. Bonventre Career Development Grant
    María Castañeda-Bueno, PhD

    María Castañeda-Bueno, PhD

    2024 Joseph V. Bonventre Career Development Grant

    Institution: Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán

    Project Title: Novel insights into the physiology of the Distal Convoluted Tubule

    How would you sum up your overall research focus in one sentence?

    Our research focuses in understanding the regulation of Na+ and K+ handling by the kidney, with particular focus in the role that WNK kinases play in these processes.

    Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.

    We will explore novel regulatory mechanisms of WNK kinase activity that may be relevant for the regulation of Na+ reabsorption in the distal convoluted tubule. The understanding of these novel mechanisms may help to explain some paradoxical observations regarding WNK activity regulation, especially in the context of Familial Hyperkalemic Hypertension.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    Mainly my mentor, Dr. Gerardo Gamba, who is incredibly passionate about kidney research and science in general.

    What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?

    Although it is hard to know at which point will basic science discoveries have an impact on patient care, the more we know, the more likely it is that the knowledge we produce can be translated into treatments.

    What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?

    By the end of the grant period, I hope to publish the observations made from the funded research and obtain R01 funding. Five years from now, my goal is to continue making contributions to the knowledge of kidney physiology and to continue mentoring students that may become the future generation of kidney scientists. Ten years from now, I hope that my research group is well recognized within the field and is viewed as a group that has made important contributions.

    What has surprised you most about your career?

    That after so many years of working with WNK kinases mayor breakthroughs in this field are still being made. 

    In one sentence, please describe the importance of having grant funding available through KidneyCure.

    This kind of support is game changing in places like Mexico where there are strong scientific groups on certain fields but the funding for science is very limited.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I am a mom of two and I love to play soccer with my kids. They are 5 and 6 so it is still fun to play with me!

    In my free time, I like to…

    Spend time with my family and friends, exercise, travel, read… and there is not much more time left!