The main focus of my research is the study of the role of vasoactive peptides in the pathogenesis of kidney diseases, focusing on diabetic nephropathy. My work led to the identification of two naturally-occurring peptides with renoprotective properties, apelin and angiotensin III. I also identified modulators of the expression or activity of these peptides that show potential as novel therapeutic targets for kidney diseases.
My other research interest focuses on mRNA metabolism. The work I have performed during my postdoctoral fellowship has established a functional role for independent control of protein expression through mRNA translation in diabetic kidney disease. I am now developing the novel concept that covalent modification of proteins involved in mRNA processing and translation contribute to metabolic memory during diabetes.
During my 20 year career, I have authored or co-authored 33 research articles, 5 review articles, 1 editorial and 2 book chapters. I am currently serving as an editor for BioMed Research International and am under consideration for the same position at PLoS One. My contributions to the field of diabetic nephropathy have been recognized by the American Society of Nephrology and the American Society of Diabetes, who have me to give lectures, host poster guided tours and chair oral sessions at their annual international meetings.
Over the years, my research has been funded by the National Institute of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Heart Association.