Grant: Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award (2019)
Project Title: Pediatric Peritoneal Dialysis
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
We hope to discover a solute (or combination of solutes) that would more reliably determine a person’s dialysis needs and residual kidney function without the burden of timed urine collections.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
We will enroll pediatric patients on peritoneal dialysis at several institutions. Using mass spectrometry, we will analyze their blood, dialysate, and if able, their urine for solutes. One specific solute we will study is a small solute modified transcription RNA known as pseudouridine. Given its production correlates to BSA and therefore metabolic rate, we will look for relationship of its clearance in pediatric PD patients.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
We hope our research will help refine how we deliver dialysis to patients, especially in pediatrics. Targeting dialysis to other solutes (or combination) may have improved long-term outcomes in growth and cognitive development in pediatric patients.
What are your short and long-term career goals?
I look forward to using my combined Adult-Pediatric Nephrology training to further my academic career. A combined clinical practice will provide the questions and my research will endeavor to answer them.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
Kidney diseases not only affect a wide range of patient demographics with a large global impact, they also play a role in many multi-disciplinary illnesses, proving their importance within the body and without. Yet, the kidney itself continues to be an intriguing mystery, operating as a multi-functional, elegant, and dynamic machine.
What are the major challenges to beginning a career in nephrology research today?
Pursuing a combined Adult-Peds Nephrology career came with several challenges. Most notable is the use of adult clinical evidence in pediatric populations due to general lack of studies in pediatric patients. Thankfully, my research question will be studied in pediatrics, but could have adult applications.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
The process of grant application, though laborious, is best done in parts and with iterative revisions with mentors and colleagues.