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

iated 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.


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

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