Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Translational Metabolism and Health

Research

We are committed to building an environment that fosters discovery and scholarship.

Discover the connections between our center and the innovative research happening nationally in this field.

Our Collaborators

Areas of Focus

Clinical

Our clinical investigators are leading multi-center clinical trials aimed at testing new treatments for patients with kidney diseases.

Basic

Our basic investigators are investigating fundamental mechanisms for cardiovascular and bone disease in patients with kidney diseases, with an ultimate goal of identifying mechanistic pathways that could be targeted for drug development.

Population

Our population investigators are examining the impact of traditional and non-traditional risk factors and social determinants of health on adverse outcomes in patients with kidney diseases.

Our Labs

 Nicolae Valentin David Lab

Molecular mechanisms of metabolic bone diseases, with particular emphasis on the regulation and function of FGF23 in situations of normal and abnormal mineral metabolism.

Dr. David uses a basic science and translational research approach to characterize molecular events that are involved in the expression, post-translational modifications and secretion of the bone hormone FGF23 that is highly elevated in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). A major area of his research focuses on investigating a novel mechanism by which inflammatory signals and iron deficiency, common consequences of CKD, regulate FGF23. Our data show that acute inflammation stimulates FGF23 production, but simultaneous increases in FGF23 cleavage maintain normal levels of biologically active protein. However, chronic inflammation and sustained iron deficiency also increase biologically active FGF23, and show that these factors may contribute to elevated FGF23 levels in CKD.

Dr. David’s laboratory is funded by the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and the National institute of Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Email Dr. David

Faculty Profile

Nicolae Valentin David, PhD

 Tamara Isakova Lab

Specializing in disordered mineral metabolism in chronic kidney disease; supporting a multi-center study testing the biochemical efficacy and safety of phosphates and FGF-23-lowering interventions in patients with stage 3-4 chronic kidney disease.

Tamara Isakova, MD, MMSc, is leading an ancillary study within a multi-center pilot study that is funded by the U01 Consortium of Pilot Studies in chronic kidney disease (CKD).  The parent study is designed to test the biochemical efficacy and safety of phosphate and FGF23-lowering interventions in patients with stage 3-4 CKD.  The ancillary study supports baseline and follow up measurements of intermediate cardiovascular and renal end points.  In addition to circulating biomarkers, Dr. Isakova is obtaining longitudinal measures of left ventricular mass using cardiac MRI and of renal oxygenation and fibrosis using BOLD MRI.  To accomplish her aims, Dr. Isakova is working closely with investigators in the MRI imaging departments at Northwestern and NorthShore.  Additional studies include ongoing investigations within large prospective cohort studies, including the CRIC Study.

Faculty Profile

Tamara Isakova, MD, MMSc

 Aline Martin Lab

The Martin Lab investigates the role of the skeleton in the endocrine regulation of mineral metabolism and the cardiovascular complications of mineral and bone diseases.

Our research program focuses on the contribution of the skeleton to the mineral balance in the body.  Bone produces a hormone, Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF)-23, that participates in this balance.  However in mineral metabolism disorders, such as in chronic kidney disease, the massive production of FGF23 is associated with negative outcomes and mortality.  By understanding the mechanisms that control the production of FGF23, our goal is to develop new therapeutic strategies and improve outcomes in mineral metabolism disorders.  To this goal, we perform basic and translational research using a combination of genetics, molecular biology, proteomics, histology and advanced imaging techniques. 

A major focus of the lab is to investigate the transcriptional and post-translational regulation of FGF23 within the bone cells.  In particular, we study the specific role of a known regulator of FGF23, Dentin Matrix Protein 1 (DMP1), on these regulations and on osteocyte biology in the context of diseases associated with FGF23 excess (chronic kidney disease, hypophosphatemic rickets …).  A second focus is to investigate the mechanisms involved in negative outcomes associated with FGF23 excess, including bone mineralization defects, cardiac hypertrophy and cognitive defects.  Our team works in collaboration with the Center for Translational Metabolism and Health and the Division of Cardiology at Northwestern, and with multiple additional collaborators and partnerships around the world.

The Martin Lab is sponsored by the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and by the Northwestern Women’s Health Research Institute.

Publications

For more information view Dr. Martin's Faculty Profile or  view publications by PubMed

Contact Us

Contact Dr. Martin at 312-503-4160 or the Martin Lab at 312-503-4805, or by email.

 Rupal Mehta Lab

Investigating disordered phosphate homeostasis and the pathogenesis of microvascular disease in chronic kidney disease.

Rupal Mehta, MD is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and a core faculty member in the Center of Metabolism and Health within the Institute of Public Health and Medicine. Under the mentorship of Drs. Myles Wolf and Tamara Isakova, Dr. Mehta is studying microvascular disease in the retina in chronic kidney disease (CKD) to more broadly understand the pathogenesis of microvascular disease and its impact on cardiovascular burden in CKD.  She is conducting ongoing investigations in multiple large cohort studies including the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study, Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), and the Beaver Dam Eye Study.  As a member of the Center of Metabolism and Health, Dr. Mehta aims to advance her training in epidemiologic and patient-oriented research with the goal of building an academic career centered on research that informs improvements in care of patients with CKD.

Faculty Profile

Rupal C Mehta, MD

 Anand Srivastava Lab

Investigating novel markers of chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury to identify and evaluate better methods to phenotype kidney diseases.

Anand Srivastava, MD, MPH is an Instructor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and a core faculty member in the Center for Translational Metabolism and Health within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine. Dr. Srivastava aims to study novel non-invasive blood/urine and imaging biomarkers associated with histopathological lesions implicated in kidney function deterioration. He is performing ongoing collaborative investigations in the Boston Kidney Biopsy Cohort (BKBC), Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC), and Acute Renal Failure Network Trial (ATN). He aims to advance novel non-invasive biomarkers, which may help to serve as surrogate markers in future observational studies and clinical studies.

Faculty Profile

Anand Srivastava, MD, MPH

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