Institution: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Grant: Sharon Anderson Research Fellowship Award (2018)
Project Title: Modeling APOL1 Disease in Drosophila Melanogaster
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
I am using the model of the Drosophila nephrocyte to study APOL1 and other novel genetic diseases of the kidney.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
We are using the model of the Drosophila nephrocyte to look at the cellular mechanisms disrupted by APOL1.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
A better understanding of the mechanism behind APOL1 related kidney disease may lead to successful therapeutics in the future.
What are your short- and long-term career goals?
By the end of the grant period I hope to have a clinician-scientist research track position studying the clinical effects and mechanism of apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) associated disease with a plan to apply for a mentored K award within 1-2 years of becoming faculty. In five years I hope to have established myself in the research of novel genetic mutations of the kidney using the Drosophila nephrocyte as a model. In ten years I hope that my research will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind such genetic kidney diseases, potentially identifying possible novel therapeutics.
What inspired you to focus your research in kidney diseases?
As a pediatric nephrology fellow, I see the impact of kidney disease on my patients every day. I hope that my research will help expand our understanding of kidney disease and improve patient outcomes.
What are the major challenges to beginning a career in nephrology research today?
For physician-scientists, I think that many people are entering the field of medicine later in life. For some, this means that the time in life where there are heavy demands on your time, in terms of completing your clinical training and establishing your research career, may coincide with the time in life where there are heavy demands on your time outside of work. I think this makes having a strong mentorship and support network both at work and at home essential.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
Each time you write a grant you distill your research aims, better delineating your future experiments and outlining your future publications. Therefore, even when you do not succeed in receiving a specific grant, writing a grant can set you up for success in both publishing and grant submissions in the future.
Something you may not know about me is…
I climbed Mount Rainier, a peak of 14,410 feet.
In my free time I like to…
…spend time with my husband, two beautiful daughters and our lovable but mischievous husky.