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Genes Contributing to Kidney Disease Sought

Feb. 12, 2010

Search for Genes Contributing to Kidney Disease

Supported by $1.9 Million NIH Grant

The Medical College of Wisconsin received a five-year $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to research the genetics of how high blood pressure influences the development of kidney disease. The knowledge could be applied to the creation of more effective treatments.

Michael R. Garrett, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine in nephrology, is the principal investigator for the grant. Other Medical College investigators participating in the research are Frank Park, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, and Andrey Sorokin, Ph.D,, professor of medicine in nephrology.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major contributor to kidney failure. The number of end-stage kidney disease patients in the United States treated with either dialysis or transplantation more than doubled from 1991 to 2004. In the next 20 years, the number of end-stage kidney disease patients is expected to increase to over 2 million, which will place an enormous financial burden on both Medicare and the private insurance sector.

Current treatment options only slow the progression of kidney disease. They do not stop it. Dr. Garrett’s research uses advanced genetic techniques to better understand how and why kidney disease occurs. He seeks to identify genes responsible for hypertension-induced kidney disease in rats. Results from Dr. Garrett’s animal studies may be readily applied to the study of kidney disease in humans. The ultimate goal of this study is to reduce the number of deaths caused by kidney disease by providing earlier and more effective treatments prior to kidney failure.

The project described was supported by Award Number 1R01HL094446-01A1 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

 

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