Ying Maggie Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Nephrology, is the recipient of a 2-year, $300,000 Mallinckrodt Challenge Grant for her study “Targeting Podocyte Dysfunctional Ryanodine Receptor to Treat Nephrotic Syndrome.”
“The overall goals of this proposal are to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying increased podocyte endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium efflux under ER stress and to discover novel podocyte ER calcium stabilizers to treat nephrotic syndrome,” says Dr. Chen.
The proposed study could lead to a significant leap forward in the treatment of nephrotic syndrome/focal segmental glomerulosclerosis associated with podocyte ER dysfunction in a highly targeted manner.
The grant is provided through a partnership between Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Washington University School of Medicine, which funds promising research projects reviewed by a committee composed of leaders from both institutions. Mallinckrodt funds two types of grants – program and challenge – while also supporting direct collaboration with the School of Medicine.
The challenge grants fund laboratory research that is deemed likely to have future medical applications. Faculty with funded projects will have access to additional resources and services provided by the Mallinckrodt, including analytical chemistry tools and expertise, drug formulation support, and resources for navigating regulatory requirements for drug development.
In addition to the challenge grant, Chen was also recently awarded an Investigator Matching Micro Grant funded by WashU’s Center for Drug Discovery for development of a novel biotherapeutic protein to treat endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated kidney disease. She and colleague Yeawon Kim received a U.S. patent for their discovery of noninvasive biomarkers that have the potential to help diagnose certain human kidney diseases in their earliest stages of development. The co-inventors were honored at the 2nd Annual Celebration of Inventors, an event sponsored by the Office of Technology Management.
Read more about Dr. Chen’s research on the Y. Maggie Chen Lab Web Site.