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CONTACT INFORMATION

Katalin Susztak MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Division of Nephrology

Department of Medicine

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Ullmann Bldg 619

Kidney disease is the 9th most common cause of mortality in the US. There are approximatelly 2 million people in the US who suffer from chronic renal disease.

Our laboratory is interested in

1, the identification of new biomarkers (gene expression signature patterns) that could identify patients who are at increased risk for the development of the nephropathy. Currently we are performing large scale gene expression studies on human kidney samples obtained from patients with various renal diseases.

2,  We are interested in examining the molecular mechanism that lead to the development of End Stage Renal Disease.

a, Recently we identified that a critical developmental signaling pathway (the Notch pathway) is activated in glomerular epithelial cells in the kidney and causes the development of glomerulosclerosis. In addition small molecular inhibitors of the Notch signaling pathway can protects rodents from the development of renal damage.

Nature Medicine 2008 PDF, Commentary

b,, Our earlier studies showed that CD36 expression in human kidney tubules correlates with the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis and renal disease progression. We found that CD36 can signal in renal epithelial cells and can mediate the apoptosis of human proximal tubular cells. Therefore CD36 expression and tubular epithelial degeneration is a key mechanism of diabetic nephropathy progression.

PLoS Medicine 2005 PDF

c, We have also identified various other novel candidate genes. We are currently in the process of examining the role of these novel genes and pathways, in vivo and in animal models and in vitro in cell culture models.