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Brad Rovin, MD

Award Name Pilot and Collaboartive Studies Award
Award Date 12/01/2011

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Researchers seeking noninvasive test to monitor kidney damage

The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science awarded Brad Rovin, MD, with a pilot award for his research entitled "Biomarkers of kidney pathology."

Rovin is studying urine to understand the changes that occur in kidneys in patients with Lupus nephritis (LN), with the hope that invasive kidney biopsies may not always need to be performed.

Kidney biopsies are not repeated often because they put patients at risk. If urine biomarkers reflecting kidney pathology can be identified, a noninvasive way to follow kidney injury might be possible for monitoring the health of a patient’s kidneys in real time. This breakthrough would allow treatments to be changed in response to what is happening in the kidney at a specific point in time and improve outcomes.

“We see a tremendous number of patients with LN, and we know most of the treatments for these patients are highly toxic and response rates are not optimal,” Rovin said. “Understanding what is going on in the kidney in real time should improve response rates for patients.”

Rovin’s research involves looking at kidney tissue to understand changes in kidney protein expression. These proteins are considered candidate urine biomarkers. This unique project uses the tissue of patients with LN to guide Rovin’s research team about what to look for in the urine instead of looking blindly.ptimal,” Rovin said. “Understanding what is going on in the kidney in real time should improve response rates for patients.”

Funding from the CCTS allowed Rovin and his research team to develop techniques used to microdissect kidney tissue into the important compartments for determining long-term kidney outcomes.

“Ideally, we hope to develop a panel of urine biomarkers that would be used for a diagnostic test in clinical labs,” Rovin said. “If we’re successful, doctors who are treating kidney disease can use these tests to determine the best treatment approach for patients.”

Rovin is working with Samir Parikh, MD, from the OSU Division of Nephrology, Anjali Satoskar, MD, from the OSU Department of Pathology, and Michael Freitas, PhD, from the OSU Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics.

The research team used the pilot data collected in this study to draft an NIH proposal for further research funding. The proposal was well received and Rovin hopes to receive funding in the near future.

By Alecia Frankart, August 8, 2013

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