• Robin Lo, MD

    2024 KidneyCure Research Fellowship
    Robin Lo, MD

    Robin Lo, MD

    2024 KidneyCure Research Fellowship

    Institution: Stanford University

    Project Title: Studying Mechanisms of Tubular Remodeling – Implications for Physiology

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

    My research focuses on how the kidney adapts to different stressors such as medications, diet, and genetic diseases.

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

    Diuretics are a widely prescribed class of medications used to treat diseases of fluid retention such as heart, liver, or kidney failure. However, chronic usage of these medications results in potentially maladaptive changes of kidney tubule cells, contributing to diuretic resistance. Some genetic kidney diseases mimic the action of diuretics due to mutations in ion transport proteins, subsequently resulting in chronic tubular remodeling as well. We hope that by studying the mechanisms of tubular remodeling, we can develop newer and safer therapies for diuretic resistance and genetic kidney disease.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    My interest in nephrology research began in medical school, where I also worked on kidney tubule physiology and was absolutely stunned by how dynamic the tubule can look under the microscope. As I continued to train during my clinical years, I realized how limited the current pharmaceutical therapeutic options are to treat fluid and electrolyte disorders and I hope to bridge this gap between science and the clinic.

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

    By studying the mechanisms of tubular remodeling, we hope to develop safer, novel therapies to help treat electrolyte disorders and diuretic resistance.

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

    My goal at the end of the grant period is to gain increased independence as a physician-scientist, develop a research network, and be prepared to apply for career development awards. In the next five to ten years, I hope to become research faculty and make significant headway towards understanding the mechanisms of tubular remodeling, in order to develop a translational approach into patient care.

    What are the major challenges to beginning a career in nephrology research today?

    Protected research time is a major challenge in nephrology research, as clinical demands continue to match with the increasing prevalence of chronic kidney disease annually.

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

    The grant funding provided through KidneyCure provides precious protected research time during this critical transitional period of training from fellowship to faculty.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I was a concertmaster violinist.

    In my free time I like to…

    play basketball! I am a member of the Hoops of Henle, which is the intramural basketball team of the Division of Nephrology at Stanford University.