• Sandhya S. Thomas, MD, FASN

    2022 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant
    Sandhya S. Thomas, MD, FASN

    Sandhya S. Thomas, MD, FASN

    2022 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant

    Institution: Baylor College of Medicine

    Project Title: SIRPα Mediates Insulin/IGF1 Receptor Signaling in CKD-Induced Cardiomyopathy

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    My research focuses on the mechanisms responsible for CKD-induced cardiomyopathy.

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

    Cardiac remodeling in CKD occurs early in the course of kidney disease prior to development of significant hypertension and may be the result of impairments in insulin/insulin growth factor-1 (IGF1) receptor signaling. We have identified a mechanism of CKD-induced cardiomyopathy, signal regulatory protein alpha (SIRPα) that is highly expressed in cardiac muscle and found in the serum of patients and mice with CKD. This grant will provide us the opportunity to examine the effects of cardiac muscle protein turnover that leads to left ventricular hypertrophy associated with CKD.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    My mentors inspired me to focus on bench research and on the interactions between muscle metabolism and kidney disease. Their enthusiasm was contagious.

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

    We hope to identify mediators of CKD-associated heart failure that will provide targets for therapy. Ultimately, I hope my research can improve the mortality and morbidity associated with CKD-induced heart failure.

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

    I hope to become an independent physician scientist who develops therapeutic strategies to improve the lives of patients suffering from CKD and its consequences.

    What has surprised you most about your career?

    What I find most interesting in my career is how what we find in the bench can so easily translate clinically.

    What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?

    Never give up. A grant not discussed or funded is an opportunity to improve your research.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I hope to write a book one day that synthesizes what I have learned in the bench to practical lifestyle choices that help to positively impact one's overall health.

    In my free time I like to…

    Ski, travel, garden, but mostly get some Vitamin D with my family outdoors.