• Georgina Gyarmati, MD, MPH

    2023 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant
    Georgina Gyarmati, MD, MPH

    Georgina Gyarmati, MD, MPH

    2023 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant

    Institution: University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine

    Project Title: Role of the Newly Discovered Neuroendothelial Cells in Renal Physiology and Disease

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    The overall goal of my research is the therapeutic translation of renal and cardiovascular pathological mechanisms and cell and molecular targets.

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

    My current research focuses on the characterization and human and preclinical therapeutic translation of a new vascular cell type that I discovered recently and named neuro-endothelial cell (NEC). Our central hypothesis is that NECs are novel key players in blood flow autoregulation, in the vascular control of organ functions in both short-term (hemodynamics) and long-term (angiogenesis, tissue regeneration), and in the development of kidney disease. 

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    Challenge brings pleasure and satisfaction. Kidneys are the most beautiful and complex organs in the human body. I am and always was impressed and challenged by the complexity of kidney structure and function. As a physician-scientist, the unmet medical need for highly efficient therapies for patients with kidney disease further developed my interest and motivation to perform nephrology research with the ultimate goal to develop mechanism-based therapeutics. 

    What are the major challenges facing nephrology research today?

    Kidney and kidney disease has been overlooked for a long time. CKD – a disease where the kidneys progressively fail over time – affects nearly 37 million Americans and is expected to grow in the coming years. Despite the growing number of patients, the deadly complications of CKD including cardiovascular diseases and cognitive impairment, and the absence of highly effective therapeutic approaches, the importance of nephrology research is still overlooked by the scientific community and by the general public. We must do a better job to emphasize the importance of the kidneys and their function, inspire the future generation of scientists to become nephrology researchers, and ultimately develop highly efficient new therapies. 

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

    This Transition to Independence Grant is awarded at one of the most critical stages in our career. It gives the opportunity to pursue your own research interest and build your own research program. So: be persistent, learn from your failures, always challenge the dogma, back up your hypothesis with strong preliminary data, and find the people and the environment that appreciate and support you. 

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I am passionate about supporting and training the next generation of scientists. One of the most inspiring and motivating moments of this year was when I had the chance to attend the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, the largest science fair for high school students. Watching more than 1600 students representing more than 60 countries present their research and compete was truly amazing. My goal is to motivate bright young minds to perform kidney research at the stage where they are open and receptive to new ideas and discoveries.

    In my free time I like to…

    I love to spend time with my family, my husband and our five kids, travel the world and discover new places, and immerse myself in different cultures. 

    Follow on Twitter: @gyarmatigina