Basic Science

acute kidney injurychronic kidney diseasediabetic nephropathydevelopmentmatrix biology,  integrin biology,  growth factorseicosanoid biologygene deliveryendothelial cell biology, bioartificial kidneys



Research in the VCKD is discovering novel mechanisms and treatments of hypertension.




The Breyer lab is studying the role of prostaglandins in renal physiology and hypertension. We are interested in the synergism between other pressor hormones and prostaglandins in determining the pressor or depressor effect of prostaglandins

The Borwn lab studies the role of arachidonic acid monooxygenases and epoxygenases in the regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.  Bradykinin exerts its blood pressure lowering effects, in part, through effects on cytochrome P450 (CYP450) epoxygenases that form eicosatetraenoic acids (EETs) from arachidonic acid. EETs relax blood vessels. EETs formed in the kidney also stimulate salt excretion. Animal studies suggest that, in the kidney, EET formation is regulated in part by 20-HETE, the product of CYP4A11. Research in our laboratory indicates that a loss-of-function variant of the gene encoding CYP4A11 is associated with high blood pressure and progression of renal disease. We are refining our understanding of how these systems regulate blood pressure in humans and how they interact with the RAAS.

The Luther lab investigates the metabolic links between hypertension, insulin resistance, and diabetes.  The lab uses translational studies in mice and in humans to test how the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone and CYP450 monooxygenase systems impair insulin action, insulin secretion, and vascular function.  In addition the lab is developing novel non-invasive biomarkers in humans to assess renal epithelial function

The Harris lab investigates the potential role of the cyclooxygenase/prostaglandin pathways in mediation of blood pressure homeostasis. Recently the lab has been studying the relative contributions of renal vs. extrarenal COX-2 activation to mediate salt and water balance. In addition, the lab studies the role of the intrarenal dopaminergic system in regulation of blood pressure homeostasis.

The Pozzi  lab investigates the contribution of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases in the regulation of blood pressure homeostasis. The lab studies how these enzymes and their blood pressure regulator lipid products contribute to kidney disease in order to devise selective  anti-hypertensivie therapy for the treatment of kidney disease.

  • Jens Titze

The Titze lab studies regulation of blood pressure focusing on the skin.  Using genetic and molecular approaches in mice the Titze lab studies how salt metabolism in the skin regulates and controls systemic blood pressure l.

The Zhang lab is studying the interactions between hormones (such as dopamine and angiotensin II) and arachidonic acid metabolism pathways (such as cyclooxygenase, lipoxygenase, and Cytochrome P450 pathways) and their potential roles in the pathogenesis of hypertension