How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
My research interest lies in the field of renal physiology and hypertension.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
We hypothesize that dietary potassium intake changes the intracellular chloride concentration in the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) cells and induces DCT remodeling in the long term. We will test the hypothesis using a transgenic mouse model expressing a chloride sensor for chloride imaging, and the advanced light microscopy and optical tissue clearing techniques to access distal tubule remodeling.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
High dietary potassium intake suppresses sodium chloride uptake in the distal nephron is a physiological response that directly implies the beneficial effects of dietary potassium on blood pressure control. While multiple therapeutic strategies have been developed to treat hypertension, there still exist multiple challenges that need to be addressed, including patient compliance in taking life-long medications, the development of side effects to different medications, and the financial burden of these drugs to society. Thus, a population-wide approach to prevent and treat hypertension is needed. The proposed study will better the understanding of the mechanism of high dietary potassium intake effects in terms of blood pressure control, which will benefit the worldwide population.
What are your short and long-term career goals?
My career goal is to become an independent investigator and establish my own lab at a research-intensive institution. The proposed research training will help me to develop the skills and experience that improve upon my previous research application, which will extend to my scientific and career development so that I will have the expertise to attain my goals to become a more independent scientist at the end of the training.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
As a scientist on kidney research, my overriding goal is to better understand the molecular and cellular determinants of electrolyte transport regulation and its impact on kidney diseases and hypertension in order to make a lasting impact to improve human health.
What are the major challenges to beginning a career in nephrology research today?
I think one of the major challenges to beginning a career in nephrology research is to have mentors and build a collaborating network to support and critique your work and help you improve.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
To apply for this ASN postdoctoral fellowship gave me a great opportunity to improve my scientific grant writing skills and develop a research project as a young investigator.
Something you may not know about me is…
I’m a good cook. Cooking and bench work have a lot in common. You need to have an idea, follow the protocol/recipe and use some creation.