• Jeff Beamish, MD, PhD

    2024 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant
    Jeff Beamish, MD, PhD

    Jeff Beamish, MD, PhD

    2024 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant

    Institution: University of Michigan

    Project Title: Control of Proximal Tubule Metabolism by Pax8 in Ischemic Kidney Injury

    How would you sum up your overall research focus in one sentence?

    Our laboratory's broad goal is to identify molecular and genetic mechanisms that can be targeted to prevent kidney injury and promote kidney regeneration.

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

    We recently discovered that two closely related DNA-binding proteins, Pax2 and Pax8, which regulate essential patterns of gene expression to form the developing kidney, also control the expression of genes associated with cell stress and metabolism in the mature kidney. The work supported by this award will study how Pax8 cooperates with other transcription factors to affect kidney cell metabolism and vulnerability to injury.

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    I became a clinical nephrologist partly because I was fascinated by the kidney's ability to regenerate after severe injury. However, outcomes after kidney injury vary widely between patients. The fact that we have few effective therapies in routine clinical practice to promote recovery after kidney injury is my single strongest motivator for studying kidney regeneration.

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

    Severe kidney injury is one of the most common syndromes I see in clinical practice and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. However, there are few effective strategies in current clinical practice to promote recovery. Our hope is to discover novel therapeutic approaches that can protect patients from kidney injury and promote recovery after a kidney injury has occurred.

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

    Our goal by the end of this grant period is to establish a sustainable research program that studies the molecular and genetic regulation of kidney regeneration. As the work evolves, we hope to identify novel therapeutic targets and translate these into new therapies that can help patients suffering from kidney disease.

    What has surprised you most about your career?

    I trained as a biomedical engineer for most of my career. I anticipated my work would focus on developing novel biomaterials to study kidney function. However, each step of my career journey increasingly emphasized the molecular determinants of kidney cell behavior, which is now the focus of my work. I hope that as my career unfolds there will be opportunities to merge my engineering and biological interests. Each of these perspectives can complement the other.

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

    Grant support from KidneyCure supports the research needed to discover and implement the treatments of the future.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    My first job was packing and shipping political memorabilia.

    In my free time, I like to…

    Build furniture, garden, ski, and play sports with my kids.