• Michael L. Granda, MD, MS

    2022 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award
    Michael L. Granda, MD, MS

    Michael L. Granda, MD, MS

    2022 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award

    Institution: University of Washington

    Project Title: Scintigraphic Tubular Assessment of Renal Transplant Secretion

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    Developing imaging procedures to investigate kidney physiology and inform clinical decision making.

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

    My project uses MAG3 renography and concurrently measured GFR and protein binding to estimate tubular secretory clearance as a functional marker of the proximal tubules. I will compare the MAG3 secretory clearance with salient features of tubular disease on concurrently obtained kidney transplant biopsies, to determine the association between proximal tubular structure and function.

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

    I hope that this work will support the clinical use and adaptation of markers of proximal tubular secretory clearance, which is a primary kidney function that differs from glomerular filtration and not necessarily reflected by estimates of GFR. Markers of tubular function in the transplant population may allow earlier detection of transplant dysfunction such as rejection or medication toxicity, and permit monitoring the response to treatment, without reliance on invasive procedures like biopsy. I am also curious to investigate the effects of kidney protective medications such as RAAS blockers and SGLT2 inhibitors on glomerular vs tubular hemodynamics using these methods, to determine if there is patient-specific dosing to optimally prevent the loss of kidney function.

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

    This fellowship will allow me to continue my scientific training, gain valuable experience in designing and evaluating clinical studies, and ultimately qualify for full-time faculty positions as a principal investigator. In 5 years I hope to have received a K award, completed this study, and begun developing additional tests to more comprehensively profile kidney functions such as synthesis. In 10 years I hope that we have developed facile methods for investigating the effects of different kidney diseases on filtration, secretion, reabsorption, and synthesis, allowing for earlier recognition and targeted treatments in CKD and transplant patients.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    Earlier research in developing neuroimaging probes allowed me to recognize the vast potential for molecular and functional imaging to measure kidney physiology.

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

    Finding mentors that are open to helping you pursue your projects of interest, and who can help you become a multidimensional researcher able to translate basic science findings to the bedside. Fortunately, at UW I have found an excellent group of mentors and benefit greatly from the proximity to world-class researchers at the Kidney Research Institute.

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

    This grant gives me invaluable time to continue my research training and develop a high-impact research focus that improves the lives of patients living with kidney disease.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I played the trumpet for 13 years.

    In my free time I like to…

    Cook! I love to turn on music and spend my night cooking something new, especially living in the PNW which has great produce and seafood.