Research Activities

Patient-oriented research in the Division is conducted in a collaborative arrangement with the established Nephrology Clinical Research Center in the Department of Medicine.

Studies are coordinated by a dedicated Pediatric Nurse Coordinator and currently include:

  • Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of antihypertensive medications in children and adolescents
  • New pharmaceutical options for the treatment of growth failure and anemia in renal failure
  • Risk factors for aggressive nephrotic syndrome
  • Prednisone pharmacokinetics in nephrotic syndrome
  • Athletic risks of single kidneys

The Division also participates actively in the multicenter North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study (NAPRTCS), a consortium of institutions evaluating the issues of chronic renal failure and renal transplantation in children.

This Center has as its main theme “structural and functional development of the kidney”. The Center is funded by NIDDK (approximately $4m) and is a collaborative arrangement with the Universities of Michigan and Georgetown. The program is designed to define the mechanisms of kidney morphogenesis and acquisition of differentiated functions.  Go to Pediatric Center of Excellence in Nephrology >>

The NIH Child Health Research Center (CHRC), directed by Dr. Chevalier, supports the research career development of junior pediatric scientists and provides core laboratories in molecular and cell biology to junior pediatric investigators and their mentors. These cores are directed, managed, and taught by two of our faculty members: Dr. Sue Kiley as Director of the Cell Culture Lab and Dr. Ellen Pentz as Director of the Molecular Biology Core Lab.

Drs. Chevalier and Gomez are co-investigators in the NIH O’Brien Center for Nephrology and Urology. The theme of the Center “cell remodeling in obstruction” fits in well with our other activities at the Center of Excellence in Pediatric Nephrology.

The Center for Organogenesis, Growth and Development (currently being transformed into the new University-wide Institute for Morphogenesis and Regenerative Medicine) was created by Dr. Gomez to advance our knowledge of the basic mechanisms whereby tissues and organs are formed during normal and abnormal development. Areas of interest include cell differentiation and fate, tissue vascularization, epithelial differentiation, cell-to-cell interactions, tissue repair and regeneration. Investigators from the Division of Pediatric Nephrology have coordinated their efforts to understand the molecular and cell events responsible for the morphological and functional development of the kidney. Dr. Victoria Norwood is studying the roles of cyclooxygenase-2 and angiotensins in cell lineage and renal development. Dr. Ariel Gomez is studying the lineage, differentiation and branching of kidney arterioles. Dr. Robert Chevalier has a longstanding interest in the molecular, cellular and physiologic events resulting from ureteral obstruction during kidney development.