Grant WashU Nephrology News

WashU Kidney O’Brien Center Takes CKD Research to the Next Level through Team Science

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a highly under-recognized disease that affects almost 15% of the US population and carries significant morbidity and mortality.  Although important scientific advances promise to accelerate CKD research, many are not accessible to the kidney research community due to limited expertise and/or the need for expensive equipment.

A new Center at WashU Nephrology, headed by Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD,
Joseph Friedman Professor of Renal Diseases in Medicine and Chief of the Division of Nephrology, has been established to provide the kidney research community better access to cutting-edge technologies, resources, and training to study CKD.  The program is funded by a five-year $4.5 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is part of the network of O’Brien National Resource Centers.

The Center – the Washington University Kidney O’Brien Center for Chronic Kidney Disease Research – will focus on taking CKD research to the next level through team science via the Center’s four Cores: an Administrative Core, a Resource Development Core, and two Biomedical Resource Cores.  Additionally, the center is sponsoring a Summer Opportunities for Achievement in Research (SOAR) program for undergraduate students interested in pursuing nephrology research.

Leadership Team

Dr. Benjamin Humphreys
Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD
Leslie Gewin, MD
Jeffrey Miner, PhD
Monica Chang-Panesso, MD

The Center’s leadership team includes Dr. Humphreys and WashU Nephrology faculty members Leslie Gewin, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Jeffrey Miner, PhD, Eduardo and Judith Slatopolsky Endowed Professor of Medicine in Nephrology, and Monica Chang-Panesso, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Cores/Student Summer Program

  • Metabolism Core (Meta-Core) (Biomedical Resource Core): Will facilitate the use of metabolic assays to further promote advances in CKD-related research.
    Director: Dr. Leslie Gewin; other WashU investigators include Brian Finck, PhD, Division of Nutritional Science & Obesity Medicine, Gary Patti, PhD, Department of Chemistry, and Leah Shriver, PhD, Department of Chemistry.
  • Variant Validation Core (VVC) (Biomedical Resource Core): Will investigate variants of uncertain significance (VUS) discovered in patients with kidney disease or a kidney developmental disorder for potential pathogenicity.     Director: Dr. Jeffrey H. Miner
  • WashU SOAR Program: This is an immersive 9.5-week summer research program for undergraduate students interested in pursuing nephrology research.  The program is designed to provide student interns with the opportunity to get hands-on experience in basic science research under the guidance of a mentor from the Division of Nephrology. Applications are now being accepted!
    Director: Dr. Monica Chang-Panesso

Please visit the WashU Kidney O’Brien Center for CKD Research website for more information about the Cores and Soar Program

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