Grant: Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant (2019)
Project Title: Novel Determinants of Calcific Uremic Arteriolopathy
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
I am a physician scientist interested in improving the understanding of calcific uremic arteriolopathy (also known as calciphylaxis) to develop effective treatments and preventive strategies for this rare but devastating disorder.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
Using blood and skin tissue samples from dialysis patients with and without calcific uremic arteriolopathy, we aim to identify novel mechanisms of microvascular and calcification in calcific uremic arteriolopathy. Specifically, we will investigate the roles of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and autophagy in the development of thrombosis and calcification of calcific uremic arteriolopathy.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
Calcific uremic arteriolopathy is a serious disorder seen in patients with end-stage renal disease that has substantial morbidity related to painful skin lesions and high mortality (~60% at one-year). Calcific uremic arteriolopathy represents an area of high unmet clinical need with unclear pathogenesis and no approved therapy.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
The results from our proposal will elucidate the role of two novel pathways in the pathogenesis of calcific uremic arteriolopathy and will guide future investigation to develop novel risk markers and therapies aimed at improving clinical outcomes in this patient population.
What are your short and long-term career goals?
My short-term goals are to demonstrate ongoing scientific productivity and acquire skills necessary to excel as an independent scientist. I am in the early stages of building a comprehensive calciphylaxis research program and we are applying innovative and collaborative approaches to investigate this rare disease. I am pursuing a career goal of conducting cutting-edge translational research and become a leading physician-scientist and mentor to future trainees.
What has surprised you most about your career?
A big role that learning outside the classrooms plays in career development.
What are the major challenges facing nephrology research today?
Clinical responsibilities in nephrology are frequently too demanding to allow productive research career.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
It’s a terrific mechanism to support career development and innovative science.
Something you may not know about me is…
I co-authored a book titled “Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor”
In my free time I like to…
Read books with my daughter, play piano, and ice skate