Dr. Moumita Barua, M.D.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical SchoolSupervisor: Dr. Martin PollakKRESCENT FELLOWSHIP 2010-2013Dr. Moumita Barua will pursue her post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Martin Pollak at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Barua is interested in focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (shortened to FSGS), a disease that attacks the kidney's filtering system (glomeruli) and can lead to kidney failure. Studies of families with FSGS have revealed several disease-causing genes. Dr. Barua will study the contribution of these known disease-causing genes in a group of people with FSGS, both with and without a family history of the disease. She also hopes to discover new FSGS-causing genes. The project is intended to increase our understanding of the genetic basis of FSGS. This is the first step in understanding the processes that malfunction in the kidney in FSGS, with the eventual goal of designing effective targeted therapies.
Her proposed research aims at defining exactly how WTX controls cells and at how loss of cell regeneration control leads to cancer development. This work should point to new strategies for developing drugs to prevent and treat cancers that have WTX mutations and thereby increase the quality of life of Canadian patients. In addition, understanding the role of WTX in stem cells throughout the body could lead to valuable insights for regenerative medicine aimed at repairing damaged tissues.
Dr. Emmanuelle CordatUniversity of AlbertaAMGEN-KRESCENT Joint New Investigator Award 2010 – 2013KRESCENT INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT 2010-2011Dr. Emmanuelle Cordat is a new investigator at the University of Alberta. She obtained her MSc and PhD degrees from the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (France) and in 2007 completed a post-doctoral training with Dr. Reinhart Reithmeier at the University of Toronto. Dr. Cordat’s research focuses on understanding distal renal tubular acidosis and preventing kidney stone formation. The kidney is the body’s filter that ensures all waste products are eliminated, while retaining vital components. One vital molecule is bicarbonate, which must be retained to compensate for the acid produced while processing food. Inside our kidney, a specialized protein, the anion exchanger 1 (AE1) ensures that bicarbonate is pumped back into the blood. Some individuals are unable to properly retain bicarbonate because their AE1 bicarbonate pump is not working properly due to inherited mutations, thus bicarbonate is eliminated in urine instead of being retained. As a result, those affected may produce kidney stones, may have difficulty to thrive, and may develop bone disease. For several years, her research has focused on this disease, and great progress has been made to understand how it develops. She uses kidney cells to express these altered AE1 pumps and studies what about them is not working properly. Once her team has a good understanding of why this malfunctioning pump is inducing the disease, they will be able to look for tools to prevent it from developing.
Dr. Sunny HartwigUniversity of Prince Edward IslandKRESCENT NEW INVESTIGATOR AWARD 2010-2013KRESCENT INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT 2010-2011Dr. Sunny Hartwig is a new investigator at the University of Prince Edward Island. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Dr. Jordan Kreidberg at the Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard University. Congenital human kidney diseases , Frasier Syndrome, Denys Drash Syndrom, are characterized by severe renal dysplasia (a tubular malformation of the kidney) and are linked to mutations of the Wilm’s Tumour Suppressor-1 (WT-1) gen. WT-1 gene mutations are also linked to the development of Wilm’s Tumour (the most common solid tumour in children). In her research, Dr. Hartwig, will study the role of SoxC genes in early kidney development and how these genes are regulated by WT-1. Sox genes are critical in the development genes that have been shown to coordinate cell specification and differentiation in non-renal tissue. Their role in the developing kidneys has not been determined nor has their function in the kidney. Dr. Hartwig’s study will define the critical role of the Sox and WT1 genes in early kidney development and will provide new insights in the development of Wilm’s Tumour, and lay the foundation for new therapeutic strategies that will treat, reverse and ultimately prevent kidney disease in these children.
Dr. Jean-Philippe Lafrance, M.D.Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre
FRSQ (MSSS)-KRESCENT Joint New Investigator Award 2010 – 2013KRESCENT INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT 2010- 2011
Dr. Jean-Philippe Lafrance is a new investigator at the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont Research Centre. He obtained his M.D. from the University of Montreal and also has a Masters in Epidemiology from McGill. More recently he completed his post-doctorate fellowship (funded by the KRESCENT Program) in pharmacoepidemiology under the supervision of Donald Miller at Boston University. Dr. Lafrance will study the incidence and risk factors of infection-related hospitalizations in patient receiving dialysis. Infections are the second leading cause of mortality, after cardiovascular disease, in patients receiving dialysis. Hospitalizations caused by an infection are highly frequent in patients undergoing dialysis treatments and may be followed by high risk of complications or death. Dr. Lafrance’s research aims to link information already collected in different provincial or national registries in order to evaluate the medical complications in patients undergoing dialysis. More precisely, he wants to establish the frequency of hospitalizations caused by infection and who (and why) is more susceptible to be hospitalized for that reason. Monitoring complications and mortality in dialysis patients is essential for administrators and other decision makers to plan resource allocation and to develop prevention strategies. These strategies will potentially reduce the burden of dialysis for the patients and for the health care system.
The KRESCENT Program is a Strategic Training Program developed and supported by:
With additional generous support from:
AMGEN Baxter Corporation Merck-Frosst Canada Ltd. Ortho Biotech RocheShire BioChem Inc.