Gary Desir, MD

Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine; Chair, Internal Medicine

Research Departments & Organizations

Internal Medicine: Nephrology

Yale Cancer Center: Signal Transduction

Yale Institute for Global Health

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Acute Kidney Injury; Catecholamines; Diabetes Mellitus; Hypertension; Internal Medicine; Obesity

Research Summary

Discovery of a novel pathway for catecholamines metabolism and in therapeutic utility in cardiac and renal disease

Renalase is a novel renal hormone that was discovered in our laboratory. It is synthesized by the proximal tubule and secreted in plasma where it metabolizes catecholamines and signals via a receptor-mediated pathway to enhance cell survival. Renalase deficiency aggravates renal and cardiac ischemic injury, and administration of recombinant renalase protects against ischemic and toxic acute kidney injury (AKI) and myocardial necrosis. Single nucleotide polymorphisms of the renalase gene are associated with essential hypertension, stroke and type 1 diabetes. We are currently investigating the molecular mechanisms mediating the direct cellular protective effect of renalase, its utility as a therapeutic agent for ischemic and toxic AKI, and as a potential biomarker for AKI.

Identification and validation of therapeutic targets for the treatment of obesity and diabetes

Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels regulate cell membrane potential and control a variety of cellular processes including insulin secretion. We found that the voltage-gated channel Kv1.3 and its signaling cascade represented a novel, pathway that regulates body weight and peripheral glucose metabolism. Inhibitors of Kv1.3 could prove useful in the management of obesity and diabetes.

Specialized Terms: Hypertension; Diabetes, Acute kidney injury; Catecholamines metabolism

Extensive Research Description

Molecular mechanims of renalase and its utility as a therapeutic agent in kidney injury


  • Development projects in Haiti Verrettes, Haiti (2011 - 2011)

    As part of a multidisciplinary course offered at the Yale School Forestry, designed to explore sustainable development in the Haitian context, we collaborate with L’Hopital Albert Schweitzer in the Artibonite Valley (north of Port-au-Prince). We provide advice to the hospital on the development and...

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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Contact Info

Gary Desir, MD
Office Location
Dept of Internal MedicineBoardman Building
330 Cedar Street, Ste BB 110

New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Internal MedicinePO Box 208056
330 Cedar Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8056