Glomerular Basement Membrane Will Be Lecture Subject

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Rachel Lennon, MBBS, PhD

Citation: Kidney News 10, 10/11

Rachel Lennon, MBBS, PhD, will discuss “Evolving Complexity of the Glomerular Basement Membrane” in the Michelle P. Winn Endowed Lectureship on Saturday, October 27.

Dr. Lennon is a Wellcome Trust senior research fellow in clinical science and professor of nephrology at the University of Manchester in the U.K. She is also a consultant pediatric nephrologist at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Her research is focused on understanding mechanisms of glomerular disease, the leading cause of CKD in adults and children. Her overarching research question concerns how the glomerular filtration barrier is regulated in health and disrupted in disease.

Early in her career, she made a series of discoveries to support the concept that cells of the glomerular capillary wall respond to chemical and physical cues from their microenvironment.

Her research group has developed proteomic approaches to defining the molecular landscape of cell-matrix adhesion in the glomerulus and created a setting to explore disease processes in a global manner. The group aims to improve understanding of the mechanisms of disease as a step toward developing targeted treatment for glomerular disease.

Among its achievements, the research group has used tissue proteomics to define the human glomerular matrisome and discover structural and regulatory matrix proteins; identified a core network of matrix proteins that may be necessary for basement membrane assembly in the glomerulus; discovered that mice with susceptibility to glomerular insult have structural defects in their glomeruli well before they develop overt disease; and generated high-quality proteomic data sets that are available to the research community.

Her research has led to the publication of some 30 peer-reviewed articles, 12 reviews, and four book chapters.

Dr. Lennon is active in professional organizations as well, for example, serving as the research secretary for the British Association of Paediatric Nephrology and the lead of the clinical studies group.

Dr. Lennon graduated from Nottingham University Medical School and trained in clinical pediatrics in Nottingham and London. She completed subspecialty training in pediatric nephrology in Bristol. She was awarded a Wellcome Trust research training fellowship in 2004 and completed her PhD studying circulating mediators of kidney diseases. She was appointed to a National Institutes for Health Research academic clinical lectureship in 2007 and in 2008 began working at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research in Manchester. In 2010, she was awarded a Wellcome Trust intermediate clinical fellowship to establish her research group. In 2016, she was awarded a Wellcome Trust senior research fellowship in clinical science.

ASN gratefully acknowledges Duke University School of Medicine, the school’s Division of Nephrology, and several individuals for support of the Michelle P. Winn, MD, Endowed Lectureship.