• Fabian Maximilian Bock, MD

    2021 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award
    Fabian Maximilian Bock, MD

    Fabian Maximilian Bock, MD

    2021 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award

    Institution: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

    Project Title: Rac1 and Collecting Duct Repair

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    How is the cellular cytoskeleton regulated when a kidney collecting duct cell repairs after injury?

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

    We have selectively deleted a critical actin cytoskeletal regulator (Rac1) in the collecting duct in mice. We will injure the kidney of these mice. After we remove the injury, we will characterize how the collecting duct and its cytoskeleton repairs. Our cell culture model will enable us to define in molecular detail how the actin cytoskeleton controls all aspects of epithelial collecting duct repair.

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

    We aim to find a targetable mechanism that -if activated- will help the collecting duct epithelial cells restore their structure and function after they are damaged. This will prevent fibrosis and inflammation which is the cause of chronic kidney disease that many patients suffer from.

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

    My primary career goal is to study and understand basic biological mechanisms of epithelial homeostasis in the kidney. This I hope will inform future interventions leading to kidney health. My secondary career goal is a career development award, and then independent funding. My dream is to one day run my own basic science laboratory.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    Many research avenues already exist that elucidate where exactly in the kidney fibrosis and inflammation come from once the epithelium is damaged. This has led to only some translational success. However, more importantly, we need to understand what key biological mechanisms maintain and enhance epithelial integrity so that we learn what needs to be done so that these things don't even occur.

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

    KidneyCure funding will A) allow me to answer critical questions concerning the basic biology of kidney disease and B) embed my research in a community of highly active and successful kidney researchers and mentors.

    In my free time I like to…

    Spend time with family and eat.