Research Themes

Major research themes in basic and translational science at the HCKR include:

Diabetic Kidney Disease

  • Evaluating the molecular pathways which lead to matrix upregulation in kidney cells, and hence kidney fibrosis.
  • Determining whether inhibition of key signaling proteins in these pathways can delay or prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy.

Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Determining the molecular pathways which lead to matrix upregulation in kidney cells, and hence kidney fibrosis in non-diabetic renal disease.
  • Assessing the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and how this integrates with inflammatory responses, in leading to kidney fibrosis.
  • Investigating the role of dermal fibroblasts as markers of specific inflammatory kidney diseases.
  • Evaluating the effect of fibrogenic factors in proteinuric renal disease.
  • Determining the association between circulating fibrocytes and chronic renal disease in patients with acute glomerulonephritis or after renal transplantation.
  • Determining the molecular basis for the development of proteinuria in chronic kidney disease and interventions to prevent its development and chronic kidney disease progression.

Acute Kidney Injury

  • Developing new therapeutic approaches to  prevent the induction of acute kidney injury by nephrotoxic drugs and renal ischemia.


  • Understanding the interrelationship between chronic kidney disease and the development of hypertension as well as the mechanisms by which hypertension induces renal injury.

Vascular Calcification

  • Investigating the molecular mechanisms of medial vascular calcification associated with chronic kidney disease, with a focus on the role of TDAG51 and how it regulates the osteogenic differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells.
  • Assessing the role of ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) in the development and progression of medial vascular calcification associated with or without chronic kidney disease.

Peritoneal Dialysis

  • Understanding how the profibrotic cytokine TGFβ1 leads to peritoneal membrane ultrafiltration failure and fibrosis.

Prostate and Renal Cancer

  • Investigating the potential diagnostic role of plasma microvesicle proteins in prostate and renal cancers.
  • Investigating new mechanisms responsible for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
  • Investigating coagulopathy related to prostate and renal cancers.
  • Determining the role of prostate cancer stem cells, and certain key regulatory proteins, in the pathogenesis of local and metastatic prostate cancer and its diagnosis.
  • Identifying novel proteins important to the pathogenesis of kidney cancer.
  • Understanding how anti-GRP78 autoantibodies derived from the plasma of patients with prostate or kidney cancer increase tumor growth and thrombogenicity.
  • Investigating the potential diagnostic role of anti-GRP78 autoantibodies in prostate and kidney cancer.