Basic and Translational

There are extensive opportunities for training in basic research within the Nephrology Division at UCSF. Didactic and lab-based learning are integrated into individualized training, tailored to the interests and goals of each Fellow. Most Fellows focus on one of five major themes:

  1. Renal tubule and ion transport physiology and cell biology;
  2. Renal immunology;
  3. Human genetics in Nephrology;
  4. Renal injury, metabolism, and fibrosis;
  5. Renal development and stem cell biology.

Beginning in 2012, we have launched a new initiative "Molecular Medicine in Nephrologyā€¯ which provides selected bench-research physician-scientist fellows $40,000 funding to support their research.

The core of our training is extensive hands-on experience in the laboratory of one of our internationally renowned training faculty. With guidance and input from the Division Research Training Committee, Fellows are encouraged to choose a mentor whose research excites them, and fits best with their career goals.

Core training faculty include:

  • Abul K. Abbas, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology (Immunology)
  • Lily Y. Jan, PhD, Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Voltage regulated K channels)
  • Michael Grabe, PhD, Associate Professor Cardiovascular Research Institute Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (molecular mechanisms of ion transporter function)
  • David H. Lovett, MD, Professor of Medicine (renal injury and fibrosis)
  • Keith E. Mostov, MD, PhD, Professor of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (tubule cell biology and development)
  • David Pearce, MD, Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology (Renal tubule and ion transport physiology and cell biology)
  • Jeremy F. Reiter, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics (Pathogenesis of polycystic kidney disease)
  • Shuvo Roy, PhD, Professor of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (Bioengineering with development of artificial kidney)
  • Dean Sheppard, MD, Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep
  • Alan S. Verkman, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) and Physiology (Renal tubule and ion transport physiology and cell biology)
  • Arthur Weiss, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Microbiology and Immunology (immunology)

Tubule molecular physiology and cell biology:

Foundation course:

  1. Biophysics 201 Cellular Biophysics: This provides an in-depth biophysical approach to membrane structure/transport/dynamics and signal transduction, including structural biology of membrane transporters.

Electives:

  1. Physiology 203 Adv Topics in Cell Physiology: Study of cellular and molecular mechanisms of membrane transport. Course will be based on lectures and discussions of current literature on both active and passive transport of electrolytes and non-electrolytes across biological cell membranes.
  2. Biochemistry 201A: Biological Regulatory Mechanisms: The discovery of principles that form the foundation of molecular biology and recent advances in rapidly developing areas of the field. Topics covered are RNA transcription, protein translation, DNA replication, control mechanisms, and genome structure and organization.
  3. Cell Biology 245: Cell Biology: Modern aspects of the molecular basis of cell function are examined with emphasis on how cells move, divide and communicate with each other.

Renal immunology:

Foundation course:

  1. Micro 204 Molecular and Cellular Immunology: Topics include structure and genetics of immunoglobulins, lymphocyte surface molecules, T cell receptors, signal transduction, antigen presentation, MHC restriction, tolerance, T cell effector mechanisms, lymphocytes, autoimmunity, and hematopoiesis.

Electives:

  1. Micro 209 Special Topics in Immunology: This is an immunology seminar in which the topic changes from year to year, with student presentations to the group.
  2. American Association of Immunologists Advanced Course in Immunology: This five day course is offered every July by the AAI and held at Stanford University. It is designed for scientists and advanced trainees who wish to expand or update their understanding of the field. It is not an introductory course and will be taken during the summer after Micro 204 and 209 have been completed. It focuses on basic mechanisms of immune system function (T and B cell development, antigen processing, signal transduction etc.) and then puts these basic mechanisms into context of clinically relevant areas, with sections focused on transplant immunology and immunologic disease.
  3. Genetics 200A Principles of Genetics: A combination of lecture and student presentations providing an in-depth analysis of genetic mechanisms in selected prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Topics include conjugation, transduction, transformation, mapping, meiotic and mitotic segregation allelism, and position effects.

Human genetics in Nephrology:

Foundation courses:

  1. Genetics 200A Principles of Genetics:A combination of lecture and student presentations providing an in-depth analysis of genetic mechanisms in selected prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Topics include conjugation, transduction, transformation, mapping, meiotic and mitotic segregation allelism, and position effects.
  2. Genetics 224 Advanced Human Genetics:TThis covers topics in current human genetics research, including molecular approaches to the mapping of human chromosomes, molecular analysis of mutant human genes, use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms for linkage analysis and diagnosis, effects of chromosome imbalance, gene therapy, and environmental mutagenesis.

Electives:

  1. Biochem 200C: Chromosome Structure & Function: Structure and function of chromosomes in eukaryotes will be discussed in depth, beginning with basic underlying experiments and leading to the most recent proposals for structure. Emphasizes both theoretical and experimental approaches to this area of cell and molecular biology.
  2. Biochem 201A: Biological Regulatory Mechanisms: Topics include RNA transcription, protein translation, DNA replication, control mechanisms, and genome structure and organization.
  3. BMS 222 Topics in Medical Genetics: A course using participation in a working genetics clinic and directed reading and discussion to present the concepts and approaches of medical genetics and the application of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology to the understanding of human genetic disease.

Renal injury, metabolism, and fibrosis:

Foundation course:

  1. Biomedical Sciences 225A/B, Tissue and Organ Biology: A two-quarter introduction to the molecular, cellular and anatomical features of major mammalian tissues and organ systems. Featured topics include the immune response, inflammation and infection, as well as physiological organ function.

Electives:

  1. Genetics 224 Advanced Human Genetics: This covers topics in current human genetics research, including molecular approaches to the mapping of human chromosomes, molecular analysis of mutant human genes, use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms for linkage analysis and diagnosis, effects of chromosome imbalance, gene therapy, and environmental mutagenesis.
  2. BMS 265, Macromolecules: An introduction to the basic biochemistry and analysis of proteins and nucleic acid that is tailored to the thematic interests of BMS students. It covers amino acid and peptide chemistry, protein folding, protein structural analysis, enzymology, nucleic acid structure, protein nucleic acid interactions, proteomics, and structure/based drug design.

Renal development and stem cell biology:

Foundation course:

  1. Biochem 246 Developmental Biology: TThis is an advanced graduate course focusing on modern aspects of cell biology and development with emphasis on structure-function relationships and multicellular organization.

Electives:

  1. Cell Biology 245 Cell & Developmental Biology: This covers topics in current human genetics research, including molecular approaches to the mapping of human chromosomes, molecular analysis of mutant human genes, use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms for linkage analysis and diagnosis, effects of chromosome imbalance, gene therapy, and environmental mutagenesis./li>
  2. Genetics 224 Advanced Human Genetics: This covers topics in current human genetics research, including molecular approaches to the mapping of human chromosomes, molecular analysis of mutant human genes, use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms for linkage analysis and diagnosis, effects of chromosome imbalance, gene therapy, and environmental mutagenesis.