Lloyd G. Cantley, M.D., professor of cellular and molecular physiology and newly named C.N.H. Long Professor of Medicine, is a noted nephrologist who studies the formation and repair of tubules in the kidney, structures that are crucial to the organ’s function.
When the kidney is injured following blood loss or exposure to toxins, the remaining epithelial cells regenerate functional tubules. By examining epithelial cell adhesion, migration, and tubule branching in response to growth factors, Cantley and colleagues in his laboratory are determining the intracellular signaling events critical for tubule formation during kidney development and following injury. Cantley also studies the role of adult stem cells in recovery from acute tubular necrosis, one of the most common causes of kidney failure, in which tubule cells die. His group has found that stem cells from bone marrow can sometimes home to injured tubules and differentiate into tubular epithelial cells, but that their primary beneficial effect is in secreting factors that protect existing tubular cells from death. Members of his laboratory are presently examining how stem cells can be mobilized for therapy in cases of acute renal failure.
Cantley is associate chair for research in the Department of Internal Medicine and associate director of its nephrology fellowship program. An associate editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Cantley has published his research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Molecular Cell, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Cantley earned his M.D. from the West Virginia University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at North Carolina Memorial Hospital and his fellowship training in nephrology at Beth Israel Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.