Research & Publications
The kidney is a primary target for crystals because of its role in filtering and eliminating various substances via the urine. As poorly soluble molecules and waste salts are being concentrated in the course of urine formation, crystals can build and deposit within the renal tubules and interstitium resulting in kidney failure. The composition of crystals varies based on whether they are introduced as drugs (e.g. methotrexate, sufadiazine or indinavir) or endogenous to the body (e.g. light chain crystalline nephropathy or uric acid nephropathy). Our laboratory primarily focuses on oxalate, the most common component of urinary crystals in humans.
Recent research including our own work has pointed to an important role of the innate immune system in crystal-induced inflammation and kidney failure. Our highly interdisciplinary investigations stretch from transport physiology studies, biophysics to animal models. In addition, our work bridges the gap between basic research and human studies by examining our hypothesis in patients with chronic kidney disease.