The primary goals of our research are to expand our understanding kidney function and physiology under normal conditions and to determine how these functions are affected in disease conditions.

 

We are particularly interested in identifying mechanisms that underlie the development and progression of end-stage renal disease, diabetic nephropathy, renal cancers and drug-induced nephrotoxicity.

 

Our aim is to develop novel diagnostic and prognostic strategies for prevention and treatment of these diseases, and to identify novel therapeutic targets for future drug development.

 

Toxcicology and toxicity screening are also major focus areas and we are currently involved in developing new toxicity screening platforms for regulatory testing of chemical and drug safety.

 

We have extensive experience in the following techniques and technologies

In vitro cell culture models Proteomic screening and profiling

In vivo animal models Transcriptomic and metabolomic profiling

Human clinical sample collection Cell imaging techniques and High Content Analysis

 

 

Currently Funded Projects:

 

 

CarcinoGENOMICS aims to develop an in vitro methodology for assessing the carcinogenic potential of chemicals and biological agents as an alternative to current rodent bioassays for genotoxicity and carcinogenicity. This will involve developing a battery of mechanism-based in vitro tests taking accounting of various modes of carcinogenic action. These tests will be designed to cover the major target organs for carcinogenic action i.e. the liver, the lung and the kidney.

Within CarcinoGENOMICS, we are the lead laboratory for kidney cell models and have developed a number of optimized carcinogen screening methods using human renal cell lines.

SysKid is a large-scale integrative European research project which aims to understand chronic kidney disease in the context of diabetes and hypertension. SysKid (Systems Biology towards Novel Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis and Treatment) will pave the way in developing new diagnostic strategies and treatment options for declining kidney function, which affects millions of patients suffering from diabetes and hypertension.

Within SysKid, we are the lead laboratory for in vitro screening of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

Research Focus and Expertise

ToxicoGENOMICS aims to perform global analysis of gene expression in target cells or tissues in response to a variety of toxicants. This data will be integrated with extensive existing in vivo toxicity data to develop a testing framework to serve as an early diagnostic in the pharmaceutical industry to identify the potential for specific forms of liver toxicity or other organ toxicity and to identify the mode of action for industrial and environmental chemicals.

Within ToxicoGENOMICS, we are the lead laboratory for in vitro renal cell models and will perform cytomic and high-throughput analysis of gene expression in response to toxicant exposure.

MRCG/HRB Joint Funding Scheme (Cystinosis Foundation Ireland)

Molecular mechanisms of muscle myopathy and pancreatic beta cell dysfunction associated with cystinosis: Determination of optimal approaches for cell protection

Cystinosis is a rare disease characterised by accumulation cystine in lysosomes in various cells and tissues of the body. This results in severe damage and even death of the cells. The first vital organ to fail is the kidney. Other tissues and cells are also affected including muscle and pancreatic beta cells. This project aims to investigate the mechanisms of muscle and pancreatic damage during cystinosis and identify new potential therapies for patients.

American Cystinosis Research Foundation

Role of nitric oxide in the kidney proximal tubular dysfunction associated with the Fanconi syndrome in cystinosis

This project aims to investigate the involvement of nitric oxide in the renal cell dysfunction that occurs during Fanconi Syndrome in Cystinosis patients. Elucidation of the mechanisms underlying this dysfunction will lead to novel therapies to delay or prevent kidney damage in cystinotic patients.