Defining chronic kidney disease in mechanistic terms and using this knowledge for targeted therapeutic interventions

Data Mining Tools for the Kidney Research Community

Explore Transcriptomic
Data with Nephroseq

Nephroseq is a free platform to the academic and non-profit community for integrative data mining of  genotype/phenotype data that we have curated from the public domain.

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Explore Single-cell
RNA-Seq Data with Nephrocell

Nephrocell is a web application for querying gene expression levels across our collection of human kidney and human kidney organoid single-cell datasets.

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Explore the KPMP Kidney Tissue Atlas

The Kidney Tissue Atlas is a web-based research data platform. It is built upon the clinical, molecular, and pathology data generated from participant renal biopsies using next-generation -omics technologies.

Go to the kidney tissue atlas

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We are proud to partner with the world's leading Kidney Research consortia

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Our Goal

The overarching goal of our research efforts is to define chronic organ dysfunction in mechanistic terms and use this knowledge for targeted therapeutic interventions. To reach this goal we have developed a translational research pipeline centered on integrated systems biology analysis of renal disease.

Our Team

We are an international research team from three continents and covering five disciplines, supporting all elements of the translational research pipeline from enrolling study participants to developing new therapies. Our team integrates information from a wide spectrum of human cohort studies we have initiated or with which we are intimately involved.

Methods

In these prospective cohort studies, we test the precision medicine concept for renal disease by integrating information along the genotype-phenotype continuum using carefully monitored environmental exposures, genetic predispositions, epigenetic markers, transcriptional networks, proteomic profiles, metabolic fingerprints, digital histological biopsy archive, and prospective clinical disease characterization.

Our interdisciplinary research team integrates information from a wide spectrum of human cohort studies we have initiated or are intimately involved with.

Principal Investigator

Matthias Kretzler, MD

Professor of Internal Medicine Research Professor, DCMB

Dr. Kretzler graduated from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Munich, Germany and a nephrology fellowship at the University of Munich. He is a past research fellow in physiology and nephrology at the University of Michigan. He has a special interest in the diagnosis and management of glomerular diseases and diabetic kidney disease. Dr. Kretzler’s title is Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Internal Medicine/Nephrology and Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics.

Dr. Kretzler is the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Internal Medicine/Nephrology and Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics. The overarching goal of his research is to define chronic organ dysfunction in mechanistic terms and use this knowledge for targeted therapeutic interventions. To reach this goal he has developed a translational research pipeline centered on integrated systems biology analysis of renal disease.

He leads the U54 Nephrotic Syndrome Research Network (Neptune) in the Rare Disease Clinical Research Network II, is a Principle Investigator (PI) of the Coordinating center of the CureGN research network, the Director of the Applied Systems Biology Core, PI in the R24 “Integrated Systems Biology Approach to Diabetic Microvascular Complications” and site PI in the NIH Acceleration of Medicine (AMP) program in lupus.

He has 20 years of experience in integration of bioinformatics, molecular and clinical approaches in more than 210 publications. He has a track record on interdisciplinary data integration of large-scale data sets in international multi-disciplinary research networks in the US, Europe, China and sub-Saharan Africa. These studies enable precision medicine across the genotype-phenotype continuum using carefully monitored environmental exposures, genetic predispositions, epigenetic markers, transcriptional networks, proteomic profiles, metabolic fingerprints, digital histological biopsy archive and prospective clinical disease characterization. The molecular mechanism identified have result in new disease predictors and successful phase II trial of a novel therapeutic modality in diabetic kidney disease.

Matthias Kretzler was born in Bruchsal, Germany close to Heidelberg (and France). He received his medical training at the University of Heidelberg, Germany; Newcastle upon the Tyne in the U.K.; and at the University of Michigan.

Taking full advantage of Germany’s medical training system, Matthias enrolled in an MD/PhD structured program working Wilhelm Kriz’s Anatomy and Cell Biology research team on the mechanism of glomerular filtration barrier failure. The fascination of the aesthetic beauty of glomerular filters has become the central theme of his research for the past 20 years. Beginning with ultrastructural morphology, he expanded his research efforts to modern molecular biology tools during a post-doctoral fellowship with Josie Briggs, MD, Juergen Schnermann, MD, and Larry Holzman, MD and the University of Michigan.

After returning to Germany he built, under the mentorship of Detlef Schlondorff, MD, a molecular nephrology laboratory at the Medizinische Poliklinik in Munich. Using the unique research team network around the European Renal Cell Study Group, he initiated what is now a worldwide network of kidney research centers to define molecular mechanism of renal disease in humans. For this personalized medicine approach to Nephrology he found an ideal environment at his old alma mater – the University of Michigan – and is now embedded in the fascinating collaborative network of molecular biologists, clinician-scientists, mathematicians, bioinformaticians, and systems analysts at work in Ann Arbor.

The love of his life, Annette, and his two children Katharina and Johannes, are very effective counterbalances to his busy life as a clinician-scientist and ensure he enjoys the wonders and beauties of Michigan’s nature.

Faculty

Fadhl Alakwaa
Fadhl Alakwaa, PhD
Research Investigator
Celine Berthier
Celine Berthier, PhD
ASSISTANT RESEARCH SCIENTIST
Sean Eddy
Sean Eddy, PhD
ASSISTANT RESEARCH SCIENTIST
Jennifer Harder
Jennifer Harder, MD
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Wenjun Ju
Wenjun Ju, PhD
RESEARCH SCIENTIST
Laura Mariani
Laura Mariani, MD
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Raji Menon
Raji Menon, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Abhijit Naik
Abhijit Naik
Assistant Professor
Edgar Otto
Edgar Otto, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Jennifer Schaub
Jennifer Schaub, MD
Clinical Lecturer In Nephrology

Staff

Heather Ascani
Heather Ascani, PhD
Director Of Business Stragety
Gabrielle Atler
Gabrielle Atler
Clinical Research Coordinator
Alex Barkell
Alex Barkell
Software Engineer
Nikki Bonevich
Nikki Bonevich
IT Planning Manager
Ruth Ann Buntin
Ruth Ann Buntin
Administrative Healthcare Specialist
Emily Cichon
Emily Cichon
Administrative Assistant
Rachel Dull
Rachel Dull
Data Curator
Felix Eichinger
Felix Eichinger
Bioinformatics / Systems Biologist
Jamal El Saghir
Jamal El Saghir, MSC
Research Lab Specialist, Intermediate
Damian Fermin
Damian Fermin, PhD
Computational Biologist
Matthew Fischer
Matthew Fischer
Research Lab Specialist
Brad Godfrey
Brad Godfrey, PhD
Research Lab Specialist
John Hartman
John Hartman
Computational Biologist
Patrick Kelly
Patrick Kelly
Project Senior Manager
Bethany Klunder
Bethany Klunder
Project Senior Manager
Daniela Koniczek
Daniela Koniczek, PhD
Business Development Associate
Maria Larkina
Maria Larkina
Sr. Statistician
Edmond Lee
Edmond Lee
Research Lab Tech
Chrysta Lienczewski
Chrysta Lienczewski
Clinical Research Program Manager
Tina Mainieri
Tina Mainieri
Neptune Project Manager
Phil McCown
Phil McCown, PhD
Computational Biologist
Viji Nair
Viji Nair
Lead Bioinformatics / Computational Biologist
Becky Reamy
Becky Reamy
Lead Software Engineer
Michael Rose
Michael Rose
Sr.user Experience Designer
Jharna Saha
Jharna Saha
Research Lab Specialist
Lalita Subramanian
Lalita Subramanian
Scientific Writer
Emily Tanner
Emily Tanner
Sr. Research Lab Technician
Joseph Tychewicz
Joseph Tychewicz
Project Manager
Yuee Wang
Yuee (Moon) Wang
Research Tech
Virginia Warner-Vega
Virginia Warner-Vega
Lead Research Lab Specialist
Amanda Williams
Amanda Williams
Clinical Research Coordinator
Zach Wright
Zach Wright
Sr. Software Engineer

Partners

Markus Bitzer
Markus Bitzer, MD, MS
Associate Professor
Jeffrey Hodgin
Jeffrey Hodgin, MD, PhD
Associate Professor

Visitors

Akihiro Minakawa
Akihiro Minakawa, MD
Research Fellow
Takaya Ozeki
Takaya Ozeki, MD, PhD
Research Scholar

Interns

Lizzie Bellovich
(Intern, Wet Lab)
Nathan Creger
(Intern, Software Development)
Isabel Hsu
(Intern, Wet Lab)
Michael Hwang
(Intern, Web Lab)
Jan Rosa
(Intern, Computational Biology)
Cameron Speyer
(Intern, Computational Biology)
Justin Zhang
(Intern, Wet Lab)

Alumni

Faculty & Partners
Matt Sampson, MD, MSCE
(Associate Professor, Pediatrics-Pediatric Nephrology)
Staff
Jamie Bixler
(Clinical Research Coodinator)
Jeni Chapman
(Executive Assistant)
Fred Fang
(Statistician)
Jody Fisher
(Executive Assistant/Office Manager)
Chris Gates
(Lead Bioinformatics Software Developer)
Brandi Gizinski
(Project Manager)
Haley Gore
(Research Lab Technician)
Manu Gupta
(Computational Biologist)
Habib Hamidi, PhD
(Computational Biologist)
Jennifer Hawkins
(Clinical Subjects Coordinator)
Anna Hengar
(Research Lab Technician)
Huateng Huang
(Research Lab Specialist)
Lois Hunter
(Administrative Assistant)
Song Jiang
()
Tiffany Johnson
(Project Manager)
Sunitha Kogenaru
(Computational Biologist)
Tennille Leak-Johnson
(Computational Biologist)
Justin Leopold
(Sr. Project Manager)
Matthew Manninen
(Research Lab Scientist)
Ann Randolph
(Research Lab Technician)
Therese Roth, PhD
(Research Lab Technician)
Michelle Smith
(Research Lab Technician)
Becky Steck
(Director Of Software Solutions)
Denise Taylor-Moon
(Clinical Research Coordinator, NEPTUNE)
Mark Tomilo
(Project Manager)
Eileen Whiteman
(Project Manager)
Noel Wys
(Research Lab Specialist)
Catherine Zhu
(Student)
Visiting Faculty, Students & Fellows
Claudiu Komorowsky
()
Jiahao (Joe) Liu
(Visiting Student)
Dorota Marchel
(Visiting Fellow)
Sebastian Martini
()
Toralf Melsom, MD, PhD
(Visiting Nephrologist)
Skander Mulder
(Visiting Fellow)
Saif Saddiqui
(UROP student)
Vidar Stefansson, MD
(Visiting Nephrologist)
Thaddaeus (Ted) Struk
(Student)
Jon Viljar-Norvik, MD, PhD
(Visiting Nephrologist)
Interns
Johannes Kretzler
(Intern, Business Strategy)
Arnav Rai
(Intern, Wet Lab)