• Jielu Hao Robichaud, MD

    2023 Donald E. Wesson Research Fellowship Award
    Jielu Hao Robichaud, MD

    Jielu Hao Robichaud, MD

    2023 Donald E. Wesson Research Fellowship Award

    Institution: Mayo Clinic

    Project Title: A Paradigm of Cilia-mediated Senescence in Promoting Disease Progression After Acute Kidney Injury

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

    Senescence of renal epithelial cells impairs regenerative capacity and promote maladaptive repair after kidney injury. Theoretically, blockage of senescence initiation at the early phase after kidney injury holds promising potential to prevent chronic progression. However, molecular understanding of how senescence program is initiated and how senescent cells impair disease progression in injured kidney remain poorly understood. We will discover the early cellular event of epithelial senescence after kidney injury and potential therapeutic approach in targeting primary cilia pathway.

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

    It is my hope that this research could offer a pioneering and highly effective therapeutic approach to prevent chronic progression in patients suffering from AKI.

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

    With this fellowship supporting, I hope to gain extensive scientific progress in designing research, writing scientific manuscripts, communication, networking, and critical assessment skills. In five years, I hope to have received a career development award and preparing to transition to an independent physician-scientist. Ten years from the end of the grant period, I hope to be an independently funded physician-scientist investigating cellular mechanism underlying the chronic progression in patients with AKI and discovery promising therapeutic target.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    The long-term management of AKI patients, particularly those who are at risk of chronic progression, remains a formidable challenge. While epithelial senescence has been shown to be a crucial factor in determining the repair capacity following injury, the majority of currently available senolytic agents are associated with significant side effects due to affect cell cycle players. With diligent efforts, it is my hope that we can uncover a more precise and effective therapeutic target for suppressing senescence and subsequently preventing the progression of kidney disease.

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

    Given that most of the medical training and clinical experience often lack scientific approaches, it becomes challenging to effectively address the transitional questions between bedside and laboratory research. The networking and communication between cellular-level research and in vivo pathology is not only crucial but also poses significant limitations in translating basic science findings to practical applications at the bedside. Therefore, the field necessitates enhanced scientific and clinical progress along with well-designed basic studies and sufficiently powered clinical trials to effectively address significant inquiries and enhance the management of patients with kidney disease.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I absolutely love watching TV dramas, particularly period drama, and I'm a big fan of cooking.

    In my free time I like to…

    Spend time with my family and our cat and dogs.