Clintoria Williams, PhD
Clintoria Williams, PhD
2022 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant
Institution: Wright State University
Project Title: Renoprotective Properties of Zinc Supplementation in Chronic Kidney Disease
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
My research addresses an urgent need to fill the critical gaps in therapeutic knowledge of zinc supplementation and mechanistic understanding of zinc-sensitive renal pathways.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
My research will focus on assessing zinc as a novel strategy to combat the detrimental cycle of hypertension and kidney damage in early and late CKD stages.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
With increasing CKD stage, fractional urinary excretion of zinc increases as plasma levels of zinc decreases. Notably, there is a sharp increase in urinary excretion of zinc at stage 3, before most patients are even diagnosed. These findings indicate that kidney damage diminishes zinc reabsorption and promotes zinc deficiency. Previously, we linked zinc deficiency to impaired renal Na+ excretory function, hypertension, and kidney damage.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
We expect our results to provide mechanistic knowledge of the complex interplay between the micronutrient zinc and kidney function. Advanced understanding of the physiologic role zinc plays in the natriuresis that promotes blood pressure homeostasis is critical to developing novel strategies to improve blood pressure control and slow kidney damage in the vulnerable CKD patient population.
What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?
Given the dangers of hypertension and kidney disease, there is a critical clinical need for alternative prevention and intervention strategies to control CKD progression. My career goals are to (i) assess zinc supplementation as a therapy to restore blood pressure regulation in early and late stages of CKD, and (ii) identify zinc-sensitive mechanisms of renal Na+ handling, with the ultimate goal to identify novel therapeutic approaches effective for all stages of CKD.
What are the major challenges facing nephrology research today?
Despite many anti-hypertensive drugs, up to 90% of chronic kidney disease patients exhibit uncontrolled hypertension, which accelerates kidney damage and kidney function decline. Thus, there is pressing need for novel strategies to combat the detrimental cycle of hypertension and kidney damage.
In one sentence, please describe the importance of having grant funding available through KidneyCure.
Funding through KidneyCure allows us to pursue a conceptually innovative subject - zinc as a dietary key to blood pressure control.
Something you may not know about me is…
that I am a proud mother of four kids.
In my free time I like to…
sing off key and dance off beat!