Matthias Kretzler

, MD

Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor, Medicine/Nephrology and DCMB | Director, MiKTMC

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 together with Dr. Himmelfarb the NIDDK Kidney Precision Medicine (KPMP) Central Hub and Kidney Mapping Atlas Project (KMAP), the Nephrotic Syndrome Research Network (NEPTUNE), is a Principle Investigator (PI) of the JDRF Center of Excellence at the University of Michigan, the PI of the Renal Precompetitive Consortium and the Proteinuria and GFR as Clinical Trial Endpoints in Focal Segmental GLomerulosclerosis (PARASOL) a collaborative international effort that aims to define the quantitative relationships between short-term changes in biomarkers (e.g. proteinuria and GFR) and long-term outcomes.

He has 25 years of experience in integration of bioinformatics, molecular and clinical approaches in more than 410 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 25 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 cDNA Bank, 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.