Mark Hanudel, MD, MS, FASN
Mark Hanudel, MD, MS, FASN
2020 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant Recipient
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
I study the interrelated complications of chronic kidney disease, including anemia, disordered bone and mineral metabolism, and heart disease, which together account for much of the morbidity and mortality associated with kidney disease.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
I will analyze the disease-causing role of the hormone fibroblast growth factor 23, whose production and activity are dramatically increased in chronic kidney disease. I will use cellular and animal models to analyze the contribution of this hormone to the metabolic, bone, and cardiac disorders that impair quality of life for chronic kidney disease patients and cause premature mortality.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
I have always been fascinated by how different organ systems communicate with each other, and the diseases that result when these communications go awry. Fibroblast growth factor 23 was originally characterized as a hormone secreted by bone that acts on the kidneys. Since then, it has been shown that fibroblast growth factor 23 also has important interactions with the cardiovascular and hematologic systems, suggesting a much broader role in physiologic processes and disease conditions. These mechanisms may be particularly consequential in my pediatric patients, who often suffer from accelerated multiorgan disease usually seen in the elderly.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
If we can understand why chronic kidney disease in our young patients causes such serious problems in many other organ systems, then we can target these processes for treatments and hopefully improve our patients' lives and longevity.
What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?
I will use this grant to develop my research program, advance the skills and knowledge necessary to become an outstanding physician-scientist, and expand my network of collaborators. In the longer term, I am planning to establish a larger research team in the university setting to study the complex interrelationships among the hematologic, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems in the context of chronic kidney disease. My aim is to improve the understanding of the complex pathological processes that impair and shorten the lives of our patients, and to find ways of making their lives healthier and longer.
What has surprised you most about your career?
That I have been afforded such amazing opportunities to work with, and learn from, so many outstanding mentors and collaborators. I am especially thankful for the invaluable mentorship and guidance provided by Drs. Isidro Salusky, Tomas Ganz, and Elizabeta Nemeth.
What are the major challenges facing nephrology research today?
Translating basic science findings into useful clinical applications is certainly a continuing challenge. Another challenge is finding ways to maintain the pipeline of young physician-scientists, as this is essential for future progress in nephrology research.
Something you may not know about me is…
I once spent a summer bicycling across the United States.
In my free time I like to…
Hang out with my wife, daughter, and basset hound.