Navigation Links
ERC Starting Grant for the researcher of kidney diseases
Date:9/11/2009

The European Research Council (ERC) expects to fund some 240 top researchers in its second prestigious ERC Starting Grant competition. This new wave of grantees follows the 299 researchers who received grants in the first Starting Grant competition in 2007.

In total, 2503 proposals were submitted to the second Starting Grant call.

Sanna Lehtonen's research group is studying the kidney glomerular ultrafiltration in both health and under pathological conditions, concentrating especially on studying the development of albuminuria that is an indicator of kidney disease. "Specifically, we are interested in the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to the development of diabetic nephropathy, a serious complication of diabetes", Lehtonen says.

Up to one third of diabetic patients develop nephropathy. Microalbuminuria is the earliest sign of the complication, which may ultimately develop into end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. Insulin resistance has been associated with an increased risk for diabetic nephropathy. "Interestingly, glomerular epithelial cells or podocytes have recently been found to be insulin responsive and to increase their glucose uptake upon insulin stimulation. It has also been shown that intact filamentous actin cytoskeleton is required for the insulin response. Our studies concentrate on analyzing the role of insulin signaling and glucose transport and the regulation of actin cytoskeleton in podocytes thereby aiming to define the mechanisms leading to perturbations in the kidney ultrafiltration function and development of albuminuria", Lehtonen tells.

The aim of Lehtonen's ERC project called DiaDrug is to clarify the mechanisms leading to the development of insulin resistance in podocytes and to study the association between insulin resistance and the development of albuminuria. The researchers will develop transgenic zebrafish and mouse models to study the role of proteins associated with insulin signaling in podocytes, both under normal and pathologic conditions.

"Further, we aim to identify novel drug leads to treat insulin resistance by performing high-throughput small molecule library screens on the developed transgenic fish models. The ultimate goal is to find a treatment to combat the early stages of nephropathy in diabetic patients", Lehtonen says.

Sanna Lehtonen started her studies on kidney already during the early 1990's as a PhD student. Her thesis project was on developmental biology, and in particular, about identifying and characterizing novel genes associated with epithelial cell differentiation in the kidney. Later her studies have turned more in the direction of kidney diseases and most recently concentrated on analyzing the development of albuminuria during the development of diabetic nephropathy.

"Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide. Renal complication is the most serious of its complications and is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Treating diabetes consumes a large bulk of the healthcare costs in all countries, and therefore understanding the mechanisms leading to the development of the complications, especially nephropathy, identifying it at an earlier stage and finding novel drug targets and drugs to prevent the progression of the complication are currently under intensive research", Lehtonen states.

"Receiving the ERC grant was really fantastic news for me. Now we can finally do some things that we were earlier able to only think and dream about", Lehtonen says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sanna Lehtonen
sanna.h.lehtonen@helsinki.fi
358-503-410-036
University of Helsinki
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. IGC scientist awarded prestigious European Research Council Starting grant
2. Urea tanks on diesel trucks -- thats the law in the United States starting in 2010
3. Starting university may be hazardous to your health: study
4. Barrow scientist awarded $400,000 grant to study cell associated with intuition and autism
5. UC Riverside research on barley genome gets boost from $1 million USDA grant
6. NC State receives NSF grant to discover plant switchboards
7. UTs Valentin Dragoi gets $1.2 million grant for groundbreaking approach to brain research
8. Idaho researchers win grant to explore DNA frontier
9. USDA grant to educate AIDS patients about food safety
10. Iowa State faculty attract $4.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants
11. UOG scientists successfully compete for research grants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... 20, 2016  Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: SYNA ... today announced sampling of S1423, its newest ClearPad ... small screen applications including smartwatches, fitness trackers, and ... and rectangular shapes, as well as thick and ... moisture on screen, while wearing gloves, and supports ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... 13, 2016 --> ... new market report titled - Biometric Sensors Market - Global ... - 2023. According to the report, the global biometric sensors market was ... to reach US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, expanding at a ... of volume, the biometric sensors market is expected to ...
(Date:1/11/2016)...  higi, the leading retail and omni-channel community engagement ... and mobile, today announced it has closed funding ... --> --> ... higi,s health platform – its network of health ... expanding services and programs to retail partners and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) ... Brent Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and President, will be ... session at the RBC Capital Markets Healthcare Conference on ... The New York Palace Hotel in New ... live and can be accessed on Allergan,s Investor Relations ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, a fully-integrated network of ... principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Research and ... Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin office, will assume the role ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... Marktech Optoelectronics will feature their ... in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February 16-18, 2016, and at the healthcare-focused BiOS ... InGaAs PIN diode standard packages feature a TO-46 metal can with active areas of ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... research registry built on the secure online PatientCrossroads platform, has exceeded both its ... participants have joined the PROMPT study, which seeks to advance understanding of the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: