Focus on Research: Ion transporters in the kidney (Part 2)

Part 2 of 2

Robert Hoover, MD

Robert Hoover, MD

Robert Hoover, MD, an associate professor of medicine in the Emory Division of Renal Medicine, studies the regulation of thiazide-sensitive sodium chloride (rNCC) cotransporters in various models of hypertension. rNCC is a protein in the kidney that aids in the transport of sodium and chloride ions (charged atoms) into and out of cells. Hyperactivity of rNCC results in high blood pressure, whereas reduced activity can lead to low blood pressure.

The loss of rNCC function has been associated with Gitelman syndrome, a recessive kidney disorder characterized by an imbalance of ions (including potassium, magnesium, and calcium—the body’s three major electrolytes); low blood pressure; hypokalemic metabolic alkalosis (a condition in which the acid-base balance of tissue is elevated beyond the normal range); magnesium deficiency; and a low level of calcium.

Dr. Hoover’s research lab is currently focused on examining the intracellular mechanisms that mediate hormonal regulation of the cotransporter by aldosterone and angiotensin. The Hoover lab utilizes techniques such as cell culture, confocal microscopy, immunoblotting, PCR, xenopus oocyte expression system, site-directed mutagenesis, and transgenic animal studies to examine the regulation of rNCC.

Dr. Hoover hopes that his research into renal ion transport will lead to an increased understanding of the mechanisms behind hypertension and, therefore, to improved treatment and quality of life for patients affected by kidney disorders.

More about Dr. Robert Hoover

Robert S. Hoover, MD is an associate professor of medicine in the Emory Division of Renal Medicine. He received a bachelor of arts in chemistry from Howard University in 1987 and an MD from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1991. He was an intern and resident in internal medicine at Emory University in 1994 and a fellow in nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as Vanderbilt University, from 1995-1998. He then served on faculty at Vanderbilt, Yale, and the University of Chicago.
*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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