Cary Boyd-Shiwarski, MD, PhD
Cary Boyd-Shiwarski, MD, PhD
2023 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant
Institution: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Project Title: The Role of Calcineurin Inhibitors on Blood Pressure and Potassium Homeostasis Through WNK Body Molecular Condensates
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
Our laboratory studies WNK bodies--kinase activation centers in the distal convoluted tubule that are dependent upon the expression of the scaffolding protein KS-WNK1 and facilitate the activation of the WNK-SPAK kinase pathway.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
In the future I intend to integrate my bench results into a translational model relevant to the care of patients. Specifically, identifying new targets to minimize the nephrotoxicity of CNIs.
What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?
By the end of this grant period, I intend to obtain R01 or equivalent funding. My goal for the next 5-10 years is to continue my research as a physician-scientist, continue to publish results with rigor and reproducibility, mentor multiple-trainees, and continue my clinical practice. I look forward to being able to integrate my bench results into a translational model relevant to the care of patients, such as with patients with acquired (i.e., CNIs) or inherited diseases associated with WNK kinases leading to blood pressure dysregulation and electrolyte imbalance.
What has surprised you most about your career?
"The more you know, the more you realize you don't know" -Anonymous.
What are the major challenges facing nephrology research today?
During a high school art class, I was part of a project to recreate a giant version of Van Gogh's "Starry Night". The painting was divided in 50 squares and each of us was responsible to paint one of the squares. While painting my own square it looked like abstract strokes of blue and yellow paint that lacked any meaning. It was only when we put all the squares together that we could understand the painting and appreciate its beauty. This is true for nephrology today…we have vast amount of data and observations but need to identify ways to coordinate and collaborate our efforts to integrate our data into the big picture.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
Always, always, always pursue opportunities to fund your research to answer the questions that may otherwise go unanswered.
Something you may not know about me is…
I always loved ballet and there was a time in my life when I wanted to become a professional ballerina.
In my free time I like to…
Weed my garden. Binge a good show. Travel. Learn a new language using Duolingo. Listen to podcasts on my drive into work.
Follow on Twitter: @caryboyd3