The Weill Cornell Medicine Pediatric Nephrology team focuses on a wide range of research activities to expand the understanding of renal and other nephrology disorders in children and adolescents, and to develop new strategies for the prevention and management of renal disease and injury. We continue to break new ground in our understanding of conditions including chronic kidney disease, kidney transplant outcomes and hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Our faculty are involved in several research projects and initiatives:
- Mineral metabolism in children with chronic kidney disease
- Kidney transplant outcomes and non-invasive methods to monitor how the transplanted kidney is functioning
- Iron metabolism and its role in complications of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children
- Atypical Hemolytic-uremic syndrome registry
- Clinical Drug trial in CKD patients with high phosphorus in their blood.
- North American Pediatric Renal Trials and Collaborative Studies (NAPRTCS) for kidney transplant recipients
Chronic Kidney Disease Clinical Studies
- Pediatric CKD Registry and Biorepository (Primary investigator: O. Akchurin, M.D., Ph.D.). In this study, conducted jointly with colleagues from Columbia University Division of Pediatric Nephrology (Dr. F Lin) we have established a biorepository of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells, blood and urine samples generously provided by our patients with CKD and healthy children, as well as a comprehensive research database that includes their demographic and clinical characteristics.
- Clinical trial of oral iron therapy in children with CKD (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03991169. Primary investigator: O. Akchurin, M.D., Ph.D.) This is an investigator-initiated clinical trial that allows children with CKD to benefit from novel approaches to iron therapy which may reduce potential side effects of this treatment. The trial is sponsored by the NIH through the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Pediatric Center of Excellence in Nephrology and Weill Cornell Medicine Clinical and Translational Science Center.
- Growth hormone therapy and patient-reported outcomes in children with CKD: Pediatric Nephrology Research Consortium Study (Primary investigator: O. Akchurin, M.D., Ph.D.). In this multicenter observational study, using Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), and other investigational tools, we are evaluating the perception of children and their parents on the changes in quality of life and treatment satisfaction following growth hormone therapy.
Consortium & Industry-Sponsored Studies
Effects of Iron Therapy on Renal Fibrosis and Bone Health in Juvenile Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) – Preclinical Research:
Dr. Oleh Akchurin is using several mouse models of juvenile Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) to understand novel, not directly related to erythropoiesis, implications of iron homeostasis and iron therapy in CKD. Specifically, his basic research is focused on elucidating the role of iron in kidney fibrosis – the major driver of disease progression in CKD. Iron supplementation is currently the most common therapy to treat anemia in children with mild to moderate CKD but non-hematologic effects of this therapy remain poorly understood. Previous research of Dr. Akchurin demonstrated that genetic blockade of hepcidin gene transcription not only ameliorated anemia in juvenile mice with CKD without a need for exogenous iron therapy, but also improved skeletal growth of these mice (see: https://vivo.weill.cornell.edu/display/pubid27440777). Similarly, Dr. Akchurin have shown that the blockade of interleukin 6, a known upstream activator of hepcidin, was also protective against anemia in juvenile CKD (see: https://vivo.weill.cornell.edu/display/pubid30899874). All these data have direct translational significance with respect to human Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
Identifying Biomarkers of Kidney Injury in Neuroblastoma Survivors:
Anuradha Gajjar, M.D., along with Dr. Friedman at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are recipients of a CTSC Pilot Award that aims to identify urinary biomarkers of kidney injury in pediatric neuroblastoma survivors.