Prof. Dong Zhou, Dept. of Nephrology (UCHC)
The kidneys are the filtration organ that helps filter out waste from our body. Kidney disease is an ailment that causes damage to the kidney so that it cannot filter our blood and other bodily fluids properly. It is also one of the least researched illnesses in the medical field. And with about 10-15 percent of the American population suffering from kidney disease, there is an urgency in finding more ways to help find a solution.
I examined the damaged kidney environment at the cellular level to find out what protein processes cause the malfunction of the kidneys. Methodologies employed include transgenic technology, PCR testing, western blotting, and mathematical modeling. My results are consistent with a process in which proteins in fibroblast cells - needed to heal the organ - can create excessive amounts of ECM, which may cause portions of the organ to shut down. Future research should attempt to identify which proteins drive this process. Identification of these proteins could open the door to interventions that limit the overproduction of ECM.
Ogunsina, Ademide, "Investigating Relationships Found in the Kidney Microenvironment to Aid in Understanding Malfunctions of Proteins in Chronic Kidney Disease" (2023). Holster Scholar Projects. 54.