My research that my lab is involved in seeks to define and measure the structural and functional changes resulting from SWL. In addition, I am trying to determine if altering the parameters of treatment will change the amount of injury. The second area centers on understanding how kidney stones form and what drives the repeated development of stones in some individuals. Kidney stone disease is not one disease, but many diseases which all result in calculus formation in the kidney. Determing what triggers the deposition of mineral deposits will help determine how to treat each type of stone disease.
My research interests have dealt primarily with structural/functional relationships of the kidney during the process of nephrogenesis and injury (acute and chronic). Qualitative and quantitative studies have been performed on the developing proximal tubules and collecting ducts. Abnormal developmental processes are being investigated in models of human polycystic kidney disease.
Our research is focused on developing shock wave lithotripsy and other non-invasive ultrasound-based treatment strategies that will substantially improve stone free outcomes in nephrolithiasis patients, and to determine the safety of such strategies. We use animal models to investigate the acute and chronic bio-effects of medical and surgical approaches to treat kidney stones. This includes noninvasive ultrasound modalities and minimally invasive procedures such as percutaneous nephrolithotomy. We are investigating biomarkers and developing imaging tools to quantify renal tissue injury and track regional function after interventions used in stone treatment. Strategies are being developed that protect the kidney from treatment-related injury and investigation into the mechanisms involved in this tissue-protective response.
Clinical work on renal stone formers include identifying alterations in kidney physiology that may impact stone formation, and developing strategies to reduce/prevent the incidence of stone re-occurrence. The National Institutes of Health and Industry fund our work.
We work in the field of kidney stone disease and our laboratory is part of a collaborative effort investigating the origin, diagnosis and treatment of renal stones. The main focus of the lab is in lithotripsy research, where we are working to understand the mechanisms of shock wave action involved in the breakage of stones, how shock waves lead to the tissue trauma that accompanies lithotripsy, and how to make lithotripsy safer and more effective.
Kidney stones affect a large number of Americans, with about 12% of people having at least one stone in their lifetime, and half of these people will have more than one stone. Stones are rarely life-threatening, but they cause intense pain and often require surgical procedures to be removed. The causes of kidney stones are not fully understood, but it is obvious that the causes are many, and thus the treatments for stones will also be diverse.