• Xiaoqiong Wei, PhD

    2023 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award
    Xiaoqiong Wei, PhD

    Xiaoqiong Wei, PhD

    2023 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award

    Institution: University of Virginia

    Project Title: Regulation of Podocyte Adhesion by SEL1L-HRD1 ERAD Via Integrin

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    My research aims to investigate the role of Endoplasmic-reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD) in podocyte adhesion and podocyte foot process development.

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

    We generated the podocyte-specific Sel1L knockout mice, which showed premature lethality and defects in podocyte adhesion to the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). We will perform RNA-Seq and proteomics analysis using primary podocytes from wild type and Sel1L knockout mice to identify differentially expressed genes, proteins and corresponding pathways. We also will perform SEL1L-immunoprecipitation to examine the interaction between SEL1L and integrin proteins.

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

    Podocyte adhesion to GBM is pivotal to the formation of foot process and filtration function. Many proteins are involved in podocyte adhesion and GBM formation. Among these proteins, the ERAD machinery holds particular significance. ERAD is an important protein quality-control system to clear misfolded proteins through proteasomal degradation. Understanding the mechanisms by which ERAD regulates podocyte adhesion will enable the development of targeted therapeutics to prevent podocyte detachment in glomerular diseases.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    I became fascinated by the delicate SEM structures of the glomeruli and podocytes at the first time I saw them. I want to know how this interdigitating structure is formed, developed and changed under physiology and pathological status.

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

    Artificial intelligence techniques are exerting an increasingly profound impact on all aspects of biological studies, including nephrology. Exploring and identifying ways to utilize artificial intelligence in our research can yield valuable insights and advancements in the field.

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

    The availability of grant funding through KidneyCure is essential for driving scientific advancements, fostering innovation, and improving the understanding and treatment of kidney diseases.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I love planting and animals. 

    In my free time I like to…

    Spend time with my family.

    Follow on Twitter: @WeiXiaoqiong