Clinical Research

Division of Nephrology and Hypertension

Under the direction of Christopher S. Wilcox, MD, PhD, the Center for Hypertension, Kidney & Vascular Research has a number of research programs all of which are closely interrelated and collaborative:

  • Microvascular disease in patients with hypertension, kidney and vascular disease or HIV. Dr Wilcox directs this program with Dr.Wang. Gluteal skin biopsies are obtained from patients and controls under local anesthesia. They are studied in the laboratory for function (endothelial function and contractile responses), mediator release (nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species), calcium signaling and gene and micro RNA expression. The goal is to understand the mechanisms of microvascular dysfunction in human disease.
  • Diuretic drug development studies: Drs. Wilcox and Shen are leading a project supported by an NIH grant to investigate a new long acting diuretic developed here. Phase 1 studies have been completed successfully and phase 3 studies in patients with CHF or CKD are planned.
  • Drug development studies in nephrotic syndrome: Drs. Wilcox and Shen are initiating a clinical trial of a novel strategy to treat patients with nephrotic syndrome.
  • Human Cardiovascular Function Laboratory: Drs. Wilcox, Wang, and Gordon-Cappitelli are establishing a new, fully equipped human physiology lab to study renal and circulatory function in humans with hypertension or CKD.
  • Hypertension trials: Dr. Lipkowitz is studying the role of novel genes in kidney and hypertensive diseases.
  • Multicenter studies of treatment for hypertension or kidney disease. Dr. Papademetriou directs this program at the Washington VAMC. He participates in many multi-center clinical outcome trials.
  • Biomarker for acute kidney injury: Dr. Palant and colleagues at the Washington VAMC have a collaborative trial with the NIH intramural program to test micro-RNAs as early biomarkers for AKI. 

The Center for Hypertension, Kidney & Vascular Research

The center provides philanthropic support to research in the division.  It hosts a biweekly research seminar series and a number of lay and scientific meetings, including a bi-annual "Under Pressure" program.