Clintoria R. Williams, PhD is a renal physiologist in the Emory University Division of Renal Medicine. Dr. Williams’ research interests focus on the pathophysiology of kidney disease. Her work has identified a key functional difference in the isoforms of calcineurin, a family of ubiquitous calcium-dependent enzymes. These enzymes contribute to the regulation of sodium channels in the distal nephron of the kidney and, subsequently, blood-pressure homeostasis. Notably, patients that take calcineurin inhibitors for immuno-suppression frequently develop hypertension.
Since current drugs that inhibit calcineurin do not discriminate between the isoforms of the enzyme, there is an opportunity to refine pharmacological interventions to selectively target calcineurin isoform(s) implicated in the immune system versus isoform(s) involved in sodium regulation by the kidney. Recently, Dr. Williams received American Heart Association funding on her project, “Selective Regulation of Distal Nephron Sodium Handling by Calcineurin Isoforms.”