Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS)
Our research investigates the mechanisms by which the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS), cardinal regulator of the blood pressure and fluid/electrolyte homeostasis, controls normal embryonic kidney development and how aberrations in RAS signaling result in congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in children. The goal of our integrated basic science and translational research is to identify the types of molecular processes that can be targeted for clinical intervention. Together with our trans-disciplinary collaborators, we expect that enhanced understanding of how specific RAS gene mutations linked to CAKUT and associated cardiovascular co-morbidities will lead to novel intervention and preventive strategies that improve child health throughout life.
Renfang Song, Ph.D.
Renfang received her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Guangzou Institute of Geochemistry, China in 2007. She joined Dr. Yosypiv’s Laboratory in 2008 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Dr. Song drives most of ongoing research projects. She is interested in both the molecular mechanisms by which the intact RAS directs normal kidney development and the impact of RAS gene mutations on kidney birth defects (CAKUT) in children. When she is not in the lab, she likes to run marathons and revel in the unique culture of New Orleans.
2010-2015: SRM/APA Trainee Travel Award Winner
2013: SSPR/APA Young Investigator Award Finalist
2013: ASN Professional Development Seminar Travel Grant
2012: Top Oral Abstracts by Trainees for the ASN Kidney Week 2012 Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
2011: Top Physician-in-Training Oral Abstract for the category “Developmental Biology & Inherited Kidney Diseases” ASN Kidney Week 2011 Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
Tian-Jian Chen, Ph.D.
Dr. Chen is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Director of the Molecular Genetics Lab. Dr. Chen collaborates with us to identify cytogenomic aberrations and specific gene mutations in humans with diverse spectrum of CAKUT. Dr. Chen utilizes state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques including Comparative Genomic Hybridization and targeted next-generation sequencing.
Adam Janssen, M.S.
Adam has a M.S. in Human Genetics and serves as the Molecular Genetics Laboratory Supervisor at Hayward Genetics Center. Adam collaborates with us on performing microarray to identify global transcriptome downstream of RAS genes associated with CAKUT.
Laura Kidd, M.D.
Dr. Kidd is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pathology at Tulane SOM who collaborates with us on ultrastructural changes in glomerular podocytes in model organisms with conditional inactivation of RAS genes which model human diseases.
Dominique is a M.D.-Ph.D candidate at Tulane SOM and DeBakey Research Scholar in the laboratory. Dominique is interested in cytogenomic aberrations in patients with isolated Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney (MCDK), a rare congenital kidney anomaly characterized by the presence of multiple large cysts and absent kidney function.