Spotting the Earliest Signs of Type 1 Diabetic Kidney Disease

JDRF network grant to fund study to find new types of diagnostic markers —

In an effort to pinpoint the earliest signs of diabetic kidney disease, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine are leading a multi-institutional international effort dedicated to finding a new breed of disease indicators.

The study, funded by a $2.5 million JDRF (formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) grant, will tap the potential of three emerging “omics” sciences to discover new ways to determine which patients are most likely to develop diabetic kidney disease. Samples from more than 2,000 type 1 diabetes patients, collected over a period of years by several medical centers around the world, will be used in the analyses. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHAPrincipal investigator of the study is Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHA, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology. He directs the Center for Renal Translational Medicine and the Institute of Metabolomic Medicine in UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Joachim H. Ix Named Chief of Nephrology-Hypertension

January 2, 2014

Announcement from Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD
Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair

Dr. Joachim Ix

Dr. Joachim Ix

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Joachim H. Ix, who has served as interim chief of the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension since Dr. Roland Blantz retired in 2012, has been selected as the new chief of the division. His new appointment was effective December 17, 2013.

Dr. Ix has managed the division with effectiveness and wisdom during his year as interim chief, balancing and advancing its activities during a time that has brought particularly difficult fiscal and managerial challenges to all of us. I am confident that the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension will continue to grow in clinical and academic stature with his leadership.

Joachim H. Ix, MD, MAS, is professor of medicine and professor of family and preventive medicine at UC San Diego. He is active as a clinical specialist in the diagnosis and management of kidney disease patients at both UC San Diego Health System and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS). He directed the VASDHS chronic kidney disease clinic in 2008-2009 and subsequently the VASDHS Dialysis Unit from 2009-2013.

A creative and productive clinical trialist and epidemiologist, Dr. Ix investigates the contributions of altered calcium and phosphorus homeostasis to cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease. He has more than 140 published articles in peer-reviewed journals. His active National Institutes of Health funded studies include a 5-year U01 cooperative project, begun in September of this year, in which he will conduct a phase 2 clinical trial to test the efficacy of nicotinamide (vitamin B3) on phosphorus homeostasis and other components of mineral metabolism in CKD patients. He is also PI of a recently funded R01 award evaluating the contributions of kidney tubule dysfunction and injury to progression of kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, and was recently funded as PI of an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award.

He was elected a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology in 2010 and is associate editor of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, a standing member of the NIH Study Section on Kidney Nutrition Obesity and Diabetes (KNOD) and a member of the SPRINT Trial Chronic Kidney Disease Advisory Group.

Dr. Ix is a dedicated teacher and mentor and an active contributor to his division’s instructional efforts at all levels, including the nephrology fellowship program and the School of Medicine curriculum. In 2010, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition for outstanding teaching contributions in the third-year Medicine Core Clerkship course.

Dr. Ix earned his Bachelor of Science degree at UC San Diego and his medical degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He received his specialty training, nephrology fellowship training, and MAS in biostatistics and epidemiology at UC San Francisco. He joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2007.

Urine Biomarkers Reveal Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Diabetic Kidney Disease

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified 13 metabolites – small molecules produced by cellular metabolism – that are significantly different in patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease compared to healthy controls. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHA First author Kumar Sharma, MD, FAHA, is professor of medicine and director of the Center for Renal Translational Medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension.

Citation for the study report:

Metabolomics Reveals Signature of Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Diabetic Kidney Disease. Kumar Sharma, Bethany Karl, Anna V. Mathew, Jon A. Gangoiti, Christina L. Wassel, Rintaro Saito, Minya Pu, Shoba Sharma, Young-Hyun You, Lin Wang, Maggie Diamond-Stanic, Maja T. Lindenmeyer, Carol Forsblom, Wei Wu, Joachim H. Ix, Trey Ideker, Jeffrey B. Kopp, Sanjay K. Nigam, Clemens D. Cohen, Per-Henrik Groop, Bruce A. Barshop, Loki Natarajan, William L. Nyhan, and Robert K. Naviaux JASN ASN.2013020126; published ahead of print October 10, 2013, doi:10.1681/ASN.2013020126  |  Full text (UCSD only)

Related UC San Diego news stories:

$5.6 Million Grant Renewal Expands Research in Kidney Failure

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD) – part of the National Institutes of Health – has renewed a grant shared by the University of California, San Diego and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schools of Medicine. The five-year, $5.64 million renewal will extend and expand research into acute kidney failure, or acute kidney injury, which kills 70 to 80 percent of patients in intensive care units who develop the disease.Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Ravindra MehtaRavindra L. Mehta, MD, FACP, UC San Diego professor of clinical medicine and vice chair for clinical research in the Department of Medicine, is associate director of the UC San Diego – University of Alabama at Birmingham O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research.

He directs the O’Brien Center’s clinical studies core with co-director Daniel O’Connor, MD. O’Connor is professor of medicine and pharmacology and co-director, UCSD Center for Human Genetics and Genomics.

UC San Diego nephrology faculty members Roland Blantz, MD, and Volker Vallon, MD, are co-directors of the pre-clinical studies core of the O’Brien Center. Blantz is distinguished professor of medicine emeritus and former chief of the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension; Vallon is professor of medicine and pharmacology.

UC San Diego nephrologist Satish RamachandraRao, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, is a co-director of the Bioanalytical Resource Core.

Ravindra L. Mehta is Director of Dialysis Programs and Clinical Nephrology for UC San Diego Health System. In the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Mehta directs the Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) and Master’s Degree in Clinical Research programs.

In 2011, Mehta received the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) Shire Bywaters Award for his lifetime achievements in acute kidney injury.

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