• Richard Babicz, MD

    2023 Jared J. Grantham Research Fellowship Award
    Richard Babicz, MD

    Richard Babicz, MD

    2023 Jared J. Grantham Research Fellowship Award

    Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital

    Project Title: A Novel Aquaporin-2 Signaling Pathway as a Target for Disorders of Renal Water Balance

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    My research aims to characterize the interplay and crosstalk between the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway and aquaporin-2 trafficking, with an ultimate goal of uncovering therapeutic targets for treatment of water balance disorders.

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

    My project chiefly consists of defining the signaling pathway by which inhibition of the EGFR effects aquaporin-2 phosphorylation and membrane trafficking. I will also investigate the effects of epidermal growth factor on the vasopressin receptor. 

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

    I hope my research will contribute to discoveries that will lead to novel therapies for treatment of water-balance disorders and kidney diseases.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    I chose nephrology as a specialty because I love thinking about physiology. One of my favorite areas of renal physiology is fluid balance and the humoral regulators thereof. For these reasons, I was excited to be part of the discovery of a new pathway that could change our understanding of a concept as fundamental as the function of vasopressin and aquaporin in the kidney. 

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

    The biggest challenge is time management – balancing clinical responsibilities with laboratory work while at the same time keeping room for personal and family life. 

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

    The KidneyCure grant is invaluable in that it provides a bridge of critical funding between the end of fellowship and the beginning of a career development award.

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

    Remember that those who have succeeded in attaining grants were once in the same position as you, and that it often takes several submissions before a grant is accepted. 

    Something you may not know about me is…

    my legal name is Richard but everyone calls me Ted.

    In my free time I like to…

    play guitar.