Eirini Kefalogianni, PhD, Instructor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, is the recipient of an ASN KidneyCure Carl W. Gottschalk grant, which helps young biomedical investigators achieve independent research careers with funding of up to $100,000/year for two years (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023).
The title of the funded project is: “Immunomodulatory roles of circulating TNFR1/2 in diabetic nephropathy.”
The goal of Kefalogianni’s study is to characterize the forms and immunomodulatory functions of circulating Tumor-Necrosis-Factor-Receptors 1 and 2 (cTNFR1/2) in human diabetic nephropathy (DN). cTNFR1/2 levels are associated with early glomerular lesions in type 2 diabetes, and they act as very strong predictors of chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression in type 1 and 2 patients with DN or other causes of CKD.
“It is unknown whether circulating TNFR1/2 are only correlative markers of CKD progression or whether they have immunomodulatory roles in the activation of immune cells in DN that could be therapeutically exploited,” says Kefalogianni. “Results from this study will form the basis of a broad line of translational investigation in DN, will stimulate mechanistic basic research in the field of immunology related to kidney disease, and could spur the development of drugs that target TNFR1/2 pathways for the prevention or treatment of CKD secondary to diabetes and other causes.”
The ASN Foundation’s Career Development Grants Program is supported by contributions provided by ASN, Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., Amgen, and individual donors.
Kefalogianni is also a recent recipient of a Career Development Award from the American Heart Association. She joined WashU Nephrology in 2016 and is part of the Herrlich laboratory.
See all 2021 KidneyCure grant recipients here and get to know them here.
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