Merve Postalcioglu, MD
Merve Postalcioglu, MD
2023 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award
Institution: University of California San Francisco
Project Title: Associations of Urine Epidermal Growth Factor with the Onset and Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
We will investigate associations of urine concentration of epidermal growth factor, a marker of kidney tubule regeneration, with CKD incidence and its progression in two study populations.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
The diagnosis and prognostication of CKD are solely reliant upon biomarkers of glomerular health in the clinical setting. This approach ignores kidney tubule damage and delays CKD diagnosis among persons who initially develop tubular dysfunction and injury. To address these issues, we will investigate role of a tubular biomarker, EGF, across different stages of CKD.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
I aim to identify novel biomarkers to transform kidney disease care by enabling early detection, individualized treatments, improved monitoring, better communication, and advancing research efforts to benefit patients.
What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?
With the support of this grant, I will continue my research fellow training and refine my skills to become an independent research faculty. In the next five years, I aim to publish my initial biomarker research studies, secure a career development grant, and build a strong network within and beyond nephrology. Over the course of the following ten years, my goal is to become an expert in my research field, collaborate with others, and mentor trainees interested in clinical research in nephrology.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
Our clinical care is limited by currently available biomarkers which don't capture different dimensions of kidney health. Through early detection, guiding treatment decisions, and enabling personalized medicine, biomarkers empower us to transform the field, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes and fostering a better quality of life for individuals with kidney diseases.
What are the major challenges to beginning a career in nephrology research today?
Beginning a career in nephrology research is challenging due to lack of mentor support at some institutions, limited funding and resources, difficulty in recruitment of patients/participants in studies, and gap in translating research findings to the clinical setting.
Something you may not know about me is…
I was a professional basketball player.
In my free time I like to…
I like to spend time with my family and engage in outdoor activities that allow me to unwind, recharge, and connect with the nature.