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Ram Menon

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Primary Appointment: Pediatrics-Endocrinology
Primary PIBS Dept.: Molecular and Integrative Physiology
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 DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH
  The major research emphasis of our laboratory is to understand the role of the growth hormone (GH) / growth hormone receptor (GHR) axis in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. The projects currently underway in the laboratory focus on the molecular mechanisms regulating expression of the GHR gene in diabetes mellitus. We have identified and characterized the various cis-elements and their cognate trans-acting factors that play a role in the regulation of the GHR gene in DM. Our recent results support a role for fatty acids (FA) in the regulation of expression of GHR. We are currently investigating the molecular basis for FA’s effect on GHR expression. Parallel studies in the laboratory have also identified the glomerular podocyte as a target of GH action. The cellular basis for the effects of GH on the podocyte actin cytoskeleton is the focus of ongoing projects. We are also generating a podocyte specific GHR-null mouse model and will exploit this model to investigate the cellular basis for GH’s role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.