Tengis S. Pavlov, PhD - Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant (2019)

By ASN Staff

Name: Tengis S. Pavlov, PhD

Institution: Henry Ford Health System

Grant: Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant (2019)

Project Title: Mechanism and Role of ATP Release in Polycystic Kidney Diseases
 

How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

  • The project studies a poorly characterized phenomenon – accumulation of ATP (substance which powers chemical reactions in our body) in renal cysts, how it happens and which pathological processes it induces to promote cyst growth.
     

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

  • We found a unique combination of factors capable of explaining the source of ATP release: in cysts, epithelial cells have increased expression of Panx1 and P2X7 proteins which are typically significantly lower in normal (non-dilated) tubules. We will test if pannexin-1 is involved in ATP release in the distal nephron where ~70% of cysts develop and how ATP affects ion transport across cyst wall.
     

What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

  • Polycystic kidney diseases (PKD) are a group of inherited nephropathies marked with the formation of fluid-filled cysts along the nephron. Genetic predisposition is necessary for PKD initiation, although there are other, incompletely identified downstream processes that are required for cyst growth. Their characterization may provide a unique opportunity for clinical interventions. The idea to focus on pannexins came during our project on the role of P2X7 receptors because interaction of these two proteins was well characterized in other, non-renal, tissues.
     

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

  • In the US, there is only one FDA-approved medicine against PKD. Our project is focused on testing a new approach to target this disease – purinergic signaling. We hope that this direction would provide solid evidence for further research and drug development.
     

What are your short and long-term career goals?

  • The support from the ASN Carl W. Gottschalk award will help me to establish my laboratory and obtain serious federal funding to develop my ideas in the area of kidney physiology. I want to build a lab suitable for conducting cutting-edge research, performing dissertation projects and becoming a cornerstone for the life sciences community in Michigan and nation-wide. I plan to work in academic science to study physiology and produce clinically relevant knowledge.
     

What has surprised you most about your career?

  • The most amazing thing in academia – you always get feedback: everyone around cares what you do and you immediately can understand if you’re moving in a wrong direction.
     

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

  • This award is a great opportunity facilitating recognition of your unique expertise in the field. Application process is intuitive and simple; I strongly recommend Carl W. Gottschalk Award for everyone who is working on independent projects.
     

Something you may not know about me is…

  • I worked part-time as a patent examiner assistant when I studied in graduate school and soon after. My duty was reading tons of publications and patents from different areas of medicine and R&D. That was very useful for creating a systemic knowledge about the state-of-art medical research in my mind.
     

In my free time I like to…

  • Go to cinema, hiking and visiting big cities or national parks
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Name: Tengis S. Pavlov, PhD

Institution: Henry Ford Health System

Grant: Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant (2019)

Project Title: Mechanism and Role of ATP Release in Polycystic Kidney Diseases
 

How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

  • The project studies a poorly characterized phenomenon – accumulation of ATP (substance which powers chemical reactions in our body) in renal cysts, how it happens and which pathological processes it induces to promote cyst growth.
     

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

  • We found a unique combination of factors capable of explaining the source of ATP release: in cysts, epithelial cells have increased expression of Panx1 and P2X7 proteins which are typically significantly lower in normal (non-dilated) tubules. We will test if pannexin-1 is involved in ATP release in the distal nephron where ~70% of cysts develop and how ATP affects ion transport across cyst wall.
     

What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

  • Polycystic kidney diseases (PKD) are a group of inherited nephropathies marked with the formation of fluid-filled cysts along the nephron. Genetic predisposition is necessary for PKD initiation, although there are other, incompletely identified downstream processes that are required for cyst growth. Their characterization may provide a unique opportunity for clinical interventions. The idea to focus on pannexins came during our project on the role of P2X7 receptors because interaction of these two proteins was well characterized in other, non-renal, tissues.
     

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

  • In the US, there is only one FDA-approved medicine against PKD. Our project is focused on testing a new approach to target this disease – purinergic signaling. We hope that this direction would provide solid evidence for further research and drug development.
     

What are your short and long-term career goals?

  • The support from the ASN Carl W. Gottschalk award will help me to establish my laboratory and obtain serious federal funding to develop my ideas in the area of kidney physiology. I want to build a lab suitable for conducting cutting-edge research, performing dissertation projects and becoming a cornerstone for the life sciences community in Michigan and nation-wide. I plan to work in academic science to study physiology and produce clinically relevant knowledge.
     

What has surprised you most about your career?

  • The most amazing thing in academia – you always get feedback: everyone around cares what you do and you immediately can understand if you’re moving in a wrong direction.
     

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

  • This award is a great opportunity facilitating recognition of your unique expertise in the field. Application process is intuitive and simple; I strongly recommend Carl W. Gottschalk Award for everyone who is working on independent projects.
     

Something you may not know about me is…

  • I worked part-time as a patent examiner assistant when I studied in graduate school and soon after. My duty was reading tons of publications and patents from different areas of medicine and R&D. That was very useful for creating a systemic knowledge about the state-of-art medical research in my mind.
     

In my free time I like to…

  • Go to cinema, hiking and visiting big cities or national parks
Date:
Monday, June 17, 2019