Basic and Translational Research

Research activities in the Division of Nephrology truly range from bench to bedside.  Bench research is conducted not only in the laboratories of our own Division but also in collaboration with other laboratories at Stanford University. 

  • Vivek Bhalla, MD focuses on mechanisms of hypertension and kidney disease in health and diabetes.  He uses transgenic mice and molecular biology approaches to study (1) the regulation of sodium and potassium transport and its implications for hypertension in obesity and diabetes, and (2) glomerular endothelial cell-enriched genes and their implications for the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.
  • Jonathan Maltzman, MD-PhD studies immune responses relevant to solid organ transplantation. He uses (1) genetically-modified mouse models to study mechanisms underlying immune tolerance and rejection and (2) tissues from human transplant recipients to study immune protection from latent viral infection and tolerance.
  • Timothy Meyer,  MD focuses his research on elucidating the cellular and pathophysiologic mechanisms responsible for the progression of kidney disease.  He also studies the removal of various potentially toxic solutes by dialysis, with a view toward improving the health of dialysis patients.
  • Alan Pao, MD focuses on how the kidney regulates electrolyte and water homeostasis, and may elucidate the pathogensis of hypertension, hyponatremia, and kidney stone formation.
  • Ralph Rabkin’s research is designed to provide new insights into the cellular mechanisms whereby exercise and nutrients induce an anabolic response in uremia.  His work is aimed at establishing  a home-based exercise training program for ESRD patients that increases muscle mass and function, cardiopulmonary function and quality of life and that reduces surrogate markers of compromised long-term outcome.
  • Tammy Sirich, MD uses mass spectrometry to evaluate the contribution of uremic solutes to outcomes of patients with kidney disease.  She also studies dialytic and non-dialytic maneuvers to reduce the burden of uremic solutes and improve outcomes of dialysis patients.
  • A major strength of research at Stanford is easy access to collaboration and translational research.  Over the past decade, the Division’s trainees have worked with faculty members from Genetics, Pediatrics, Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Radiology, Biostatistics, and Chemical Engineering.