WashU Nephrology scientists and clinical researchers are nationally and internationally recognized for seminal breakthroughs in nephrology research that advance the understanding of the mechanisms behind renal dysfunction and the development of new patient care practices.
Our clinical and translational research activities encompass outcomes research, biomarker discovery, genomics, clinical trials, and discovery/validation studies. In addition, our Translational Innovation Grant program awards funding annually to a basic scientist and clinician from within the division to pursue a collaborative project with translational potential. See more about this annual grant program below.
Meet our investigators:
Andreas Herrlich, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and director of translational medicine, studies growth factors and kidney disease. Dr. Herrlich recently received a 1.45M R01 grant to study amphiregulin and kidney fibrosis. Visit the Herrlich lab.
Feng Chen, PhD, associate professor of medicine, studies kidney diseases and cancer. Dr. Chen has a 2.2M R01 grant from the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) that is funding a research project titled Pathogenic Variant Discovery Across a Broad Spectrum of Human Diseases. Visit the Feng Chen Lab.
Ying Maggie Chen, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, studies endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated kidney diseases. Dr. Chen recently received a $1.8M Department of Defense Grant to develop treatment for FSGS. Visit the M. Chen lab.
Jianghui Hou, PhD, associate professor of medicine, studies claudin function and kidney disease. Visit the Hou lab. Dr. Hou recently published his second book, A Laboratory Guide to the Tight Junction.
Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD, Joseph Friedman Professor of Renal Diseases in medicine and chief, Division of Nephrology, studies kidney stem cell and regenerative biology. Dr. Humphreys recently received his second Chan Zuckerberg grant, which will define the transcriptome and epigenome of the normal human kidney. Visit The Humphreys Laboratory and follow on Twitter @HumphreysLab.
Sanjay Jain, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and director of the Kidney Translational Research Center, studies development and diseases of the urogenital and nervous systems. Dr. Jain recently received an NIH HuBMAP grant for generation of a single cell and 3D molecular atlas of the urinary system. Visit the Jain lab.
Moe Mahjoub, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, studies the role of the centrosome and cilium during development, and their dysfunction in human disease. Dr. Mahjoub is part of a group who recently received a $3.14M NHLBI grant to examine regulation of motile cilia assembly in lung disease. Visit the Mahjoub Lab and follow on Twitter @MahjoubLab.
Jeffrey Miner, PhD, FASN, professor of medicine, studies the role of the glomerular basement membrane in kidney function and diseases. Dr. Miner is the principal investigator of the new CDI Pediatric Disease Mouse Models Core. He was also elected as president-elect of the American Society for Matrix Biology (ASMB) for 2019-2020 and will serve as president from 2021-2022.
Michael Rauchman, MDCM, professor of medicine and sectional chief of nephrology at St. Louis Veteren’s Affairs Medical Center, studies molecular and genetic basis of kidney development and how disruption of specific pathways leads to abnormal development of the kidney. Rauchman was recently installed as Chromalloy Professor of Renal Diseases in Medicine and is very active in research at the VA.
WashU Nephrology’s Translational Innovation Grant
The Division of Nephrology offers an annual grant ($50,000) to bring together a basic scientist and clinician from within the division to pursue a collaborative project with translational potential.
Previous recipients of the grant are:
- 2020 – Sanjay Jain, MD, PhD, and Tingting Li, MD will develop methods for single nucleus transcriptomic studies on archived diagnostic frozen kidney biopsy tissue from patients with pauci-immune glomerulonephritis (PIGN).
- 2019 – Eirini Kefalogianni, PhD, and Charbel C. Khoury, MD, worked together on a project titled Circulating immune cell types in diabetic nephropathy and their regulation by circulating TNFR1/2. Their aim was to characterize the forms and functions of circulating TNFR1/2 in diabetic nephropathy and test their effects on circulating immune cells with regard to surface receptor and cytokine expression profiles. Findings from the study could spur the development of drugs that target TNFR1/2 pathways for the prevention or treatment of diabetic nephropathy or other chronic kidney diseases.
- 2017 – Hani Suleiman, MD, PhD and Tarek Alhamad, MD, collaborated on a project called Novel Diagnostic Imaging Techniques for Transplant Glomerulopathy (TG), which used “super-resolution imaging” techniques to search for markers that could serve as identifiers for the etiology behind transplant glomerulopathy. Their imaging technique allowed a traditional light microscope to examine the glomerular basement membrane and glomerular endothelial cells without the need for electron microscopy (EM). Their goal was to find a sensitive, less expensive and more readily available method for diagnosing TG.
- 2016 – The winning proposal by Moe Mahjoub, PhD and Seth Goldberg, MD, titled Midbody Accumulation and Secretion in Polycystic Kidney Disease, examined how defects in components of the cell cytoskeleton contribute to the pathogenesis of polycystic kidney disease (PKD). The team also focused on identifying novel urinary biomarkers that could be used as a low cost, non-invasive method to monitor PKD progression and cyst burden.
- 2015 – Ying (Maggie) Chen, MD, PhD, and Andrew Malone, MD, were recipients of the inaugural TIG. Their proposal, Targeting Podocyte Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Alport Syndrome, focused on identifying pathogenic mutations in collagen genes that lead to Alport’s syndrome.