2022 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Award
Institution: Oregon Health & Science University
Project Title: Elucidating the Protective Role of Proximal Tubule ACE2 in Acute Kidney Injury
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
My work centers on the regulation of the intra-renal renin angiotensin system by ACE2 in acute kidney injury.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
We seek to study how local ACE2 mediates renal protection using transgenic mouse models of ACE2 expression. First, we aim to explore the impact of local ACE2 on ischemic AKI in mice with proximal tubule-specific deletion of ACE2. Second, we explore how ACE2 overexpression aids in tubular recovery after. We hypothesize that ACE2 is protective against AKI through local AngII metabolism and propose that restoration of RAS balance through ACE2 overexpression promotes recovery of renal function after AKI.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
This project will identify mechanisms contributing to AKI with the hope of reducing the burden of this highly morbid condition. Completion of this proposal will significantly advance our understanding of the role of ACE2 in kidney injury and support development of novel treatments for AKI.
What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?
Following completion of this grant period, I will finish my studies in the OHSU MD/PhD program. My long-term goal is to incorporate research in acute organ dysfunction to my clinical practice in critical care medicine.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
Studying renal physiology in undergraduate and medical school classes introduced me the infinitely complicated balance of salt and water homeostasis. I plundered through the nephron, getting lost in its loops. At the end of medical school didactics, I found myself enamored with the renin-angiotensin system—I loved its artistry as it jumped from organ system to organ system, perfectly sculpting angiotensin II. In my graduate studies, I get to spend time focusing on this system that has been such a bright spot in my education.
In one sentence, please describe the importance of having grant funding available through KidneyCure.
KidneyCure funding will enable me to pursue clinically relevant research during my graduate studies and will prepare me for a career as a physician scientist.
Something you may not know about me is…
Reading and writing are an integral part of my life. Stories are how I understand the world. One of my biggest dreams is to build storytelling into science and medicine to increase accessibility and understanding.
In my free time I like to…
Read, experiment with new recipes, play with my dog, advocate for reproductive and LGBTQ health, and muse about the intersections of science and the humanities.