Professor Fiona Karet, Medical Genetics, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge.
Our kidneys are responsible for keeping many substances in the body in balance (such as salt, potassium, calcium and acid) and, when any of these goes wrong, disorders including Gitelman syndrome, hypertension or recurrent kidney stones can result. Our research aim is to characterize the genes that are mutated in these diseases, and to understand their underlying function in the kidney. A second aim focuses on small packages termed 'exosomes' that are released by kidney cells into urine that we have discovered kill bacteria, and may also have potential for diagnosis of kidney malfunction. We also study common inherited kidney disorders such as polycystic kidney disease.