Focus on Research: Ion transporters in the kidney (Part 1)

Part 1 of 2


Hui Cai, MD

Dr. Hui Cai, an associate professor of medicine in the Emory Division of Renal Medicine, studies the regulation of sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) and the Maxi K (BK) channel in the kidney. They are also interested in the role of the WNK-MAPK signaling pathway in the regulation of NCC and BK channel as well as the role of small molecule proteins (such as 14-3-3 protein, etc.) in the regulation of NCC and BK.

Dr. Cai’s research, which has been supported by NIH and AHA funding, aims to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying PHA II, also referred to as Gordon syndrome. Gordon syndrome is characterized by hypertension, an excess of potassium, and metabolic acidosis.

Although sodium is essential for healthy bodily functions, too much sodium can be harmful for people with kidney disease, because their kidneys cannot eliminate excess sodium and fluid from the body. As sodium and fluid build up in their tissues and bloodstream, their blood pressure increases. The Cai lab hopes to provide novel insight into the development of essential hypertension.

More about Dr. Cai

Hui Cai, MD is an associate professor of medicine in the Emory University Division of Renal Medicine. He received his MD from Wenzhou Medical College (China). He received residency training at Wenzhou Medical College and nephrology training at Hua Shan Hospital (China). In 1992, Dr. Cai came to Louisiana State University (LSU) Medical Center and Tulane University for his postdoctoral fellow training. He went on to complete internal medicine residency training at Brookdale University Hospital (New York) in 1997 and nephrology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins University in 2000, where he later became a faculty member. Dr. Cai has worked within the Emory University School of Medicine since 2007.

*If you are interested in investing in research, clinical care, and/or education within the Emory University School of Medicine’s Division of Renal Medicine, please visit our website to learn how you can help.

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About the Author

Emory Department of Medicine
Emory Department of Medicine
The Emory University Department of Medicine, within the Emory University School of Medicine, is steeped in a rich tradition of excellence. Through the work of its nine divisions and numerous centers and institutes, the department has pioneered discoveries in medicine, education, scientific and clinical investigation, and clinical care. Emory University School of Medicine's medical school, residency, transitional-year, and fellowship programs offer students the latest knowledge in treatment practices, scientific theories, research, and patient care. The Emory University Department of Medicine is a component of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University, which includes the Emory schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare.

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