Moe Mahjoub, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Renal Division) and Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, has been awarded a five-year $1.72 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to fund a research project titled “Centrosome dysfunction in polycystic kidney disease.”
Cystic kidney diseases encompass a spectrum of genetic disorders characterized by renal cyst formation and growth, the most common syndrome being polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The main clinical characteristic of PKD is the progressive increase in the number and size of cysts, leading to end-stage renal failure and the need for replacement therapy. Remarkably, there are as yet no effective molecular therapies that successfully halt or slow down disease progression; the only option available to affected individuals is dialysis and, hopefully, a kidney transplant. Thus, understanding the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the disease progression is critical in developing an effective therapeutic strategy.
One focus of Dr. Mahjoub’s research is on the biology of the centrosome, an essential component of the microtubule cytoskeleton in human cells that plays important roles in regulating a host of fundamental cellular processes. Defective centrosome assembly and organization can have adverse effects on cell division, migration and signaling. These cellular defects ultimately result in a number of human disease syndromes, and Dr. Mahjoub’s lab has found a new link between centrosome dysfunction and the development of cystic kidney disease. Dr. Mahjoub and his colleagues aim to identify key mechanisms that regulate the assembly of centrosomes, which provide critical points of regulation that can be modified as targets for therapy of PKD.
For a more detailed description of their research visit the Mahjoub Lab Website.