2021 ASN Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Award
Institution: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Project Title: Oral NaHCO3 Alters K+ Balance and Promotes Insulin Resistance
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
My research focuses on understanding the impacts of chronic oral sodium bicarbonate therapy on electrolyte balance, glucose homeostasis, and blood pressure in chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
Support provided by this grant will allow me to investigate the mechanism by which sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) negatively impacts insulin sensitivity in a rodent model of chronic kidney disease (CKD). I will use a model of early-stage CKD to determine the effect of chronic NaHCO3 ingestion on insulin resistance, and how this relates to intracellular [K+]. I will also use a dietary K+ restriction model to understand how intracellular [K+] directly affects insulin sensitivity and insulin signaling in skeletal muscle.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
This research stands to reveal metabolic effects of long-term NaHCO3 supplementation in CKD that will have broad implications for understanding the role of K+ balance in insulin resistance. I hope that this research will not only directly inform the care of CKD patients currently supplemented with NaHCO3 but also highlight the importance of diet in kidney health and disease and the importance of access to nutritious food for all people.
What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?
As an MD/PhD student, by the end of this grant period, my goals are to have successfully defended my PhD and returned to my medical school clinical rotations. I'm currently interested in pursuing a research track residency in Nephrology, and I hope to matriculate and begin training in a residency program in five years. Ultimately, my goal is to become an independent physician-scientist with a clinical career in Nephrology and lead a productive research program that focuses on my interests in renal electrolyte handling in cardio-renal and metabolic disease.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
The personal experiences that I've had with patients with chronic kidney disease before and during medical school drove a lot of my desire to pursue this research project. While I am fascinated by renal physiology and the kidney's handling of electrolytes and ion transport, the opportunity that this project afforded me in applying my scientific interests in an area with clear translational impact for CKD patients was what ultimately what drove my decision to pursue this research.
In one sentence, please describe the importance of having grant funding available through KidneyCure.
Grant funding from KidneyCure not only provides direct support for my research, but it also demonstrates the support of this work from the Nephrology community as a whole.
Something you may not know about me is…
I'm a former NCAA athlete (Hey now Blue!).
In my free time I like to…
Get outside and be active! I enjoy running and there are lots of trails in and just outside of Augusta to explore.
Follow on Twitter: @ElinorMannon