Project Title: Megalin trafficking in Dent disease
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
I study the reabsorption of protein by the proximal tubule to better understand causes of tubular proteinuria and provide insight into developing therapeutics.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
With help from this grant, I will construct a mathematical of megalin trafficking in differentiated proximal tubule cells. With this model, I will be able to make testable predications regarding how changes in megalin trafficking can result in proteinuria. I will also develop a cell culture model of Dent disease using CRISPR/Cas9, and in conjunction with mathematical model, I aim to elucidate the mechanism by which tubular proteinuria occurs in Dent disease patients.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
I hope that my research will provide a better understanding of how the Dent disease phenotype results, specifically, how the tubular proteinuria occurs. This will hopefully provide insight in developing therapeutics to treat not only Dent disease but also other proteinuria-causing diseases.
What are your short- and long-term career goals?
At the end of the grant period, I hope to be completing my dissertation research and graduating with my PhD in Systems Biology. Beyond that, I plan to be continuing to do research and be working to bridge the gap between cell biologists and computational biologists.
What inspired you to focus your research on the kidney?
The kidney is an interesting and complex organ and much is still unknown about even its basic functions. When, I first started my rotations in graduate school, I could see how mathematical models could fit easily into kidney research and provide valuable insight to field. This lead me to select a proximal tubule focused laboratory and to bring my computational skills with me.
Please describe the importance of having grant funding available through the ASN Foundation.
It’s great to have funding available through the ASN Foundation, especially for a pre-doctoral award, because it provides opportunities and support for new and less established scientists to conduct interesting and insightful kidney specific research.
Something you may not know about me is…
I started my research career studying population dynamics of zooplankton in the Chesapeake Bay which is what started me on the path of utilizing and developing mathematical models to as research tools.
In my free time I like to…
I love to bake anything from cupcakes and cookies to cobbler and bring in my creations for my lab to enjoy.