The kidney has many important functions, including the regulation of the blood concentrations of multiple ions, such as sodium and potassium, as well as regulation of extracellular volume and blood pressure. Kidney dysfunction can lead to perturbations in these regulatory processes, resulting in electrolyte disturbances, hypotension, or hypertension. Epithelial ion transport occurring in the renal tubules, in which there is vectorial movement of ions and water, plays an essential role in these processes.

My laboratory is interested in using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to study epithelial ion transport processes relevant to human renal physiology. Drosophila has a short life cycle, sophisticated genetics, and in many cases single gene representation of mammalian multi-gene families, simplifying analysis of pathways of interest. Our goal is to use to the fly to study ion transporters and channels that are conserved in the human kidney, as well as the molecular mechanisms of regulation of these transporters and channels.

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