2010 Special Projects Grants Announcement

UKRO is pleased to announce three $60,000 special project grants that will provide seed funding for the earliest phases of cutting-edge research.  Our support allows the following investigators to make discoveries that may lead to even greater funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and, we hope, significant medical breakthroughs.

· Dr. Alicia McDonough, Professor of Cell and Neurobiology at the USC Keck School of Medicine, will head a collaboration with Dr. Rama Natarajan at the City of Hope in using a technique called siRNA, or small interfering RNA (a chemical cousin of DNA) to modulate the expression of specific proteins and pathways in the kidney that may cause hypertension or renal failure. Successful implementation of this method will allow scientists to more quickly identify pathways that may be causing disease and more quickly test whether a specific pathway would be a good target for therapeutic treatments.  Read more about the project and its aims.

· Dr. Janos Peti-Peterdi, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Medicine at the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the USC Keck School of Medicine, will study novel mechanisms of diabetic kidney disease, identify new therapeutic targets, and develop urinary biomarkers for the early diagnosis of kidney damage.

· Dr. Alexander Pushkin from the Division of Nephrology at the University of California, Los Angeles, will investigate the structure and function of a sodium-bicarbonate transporter, with the long-term goal of developing treatments for acid-based disorders such as renal tubular acidosis.

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