Katalin Susztak, MD, PhD

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Professor of Medicine
Department: Medicine

Contact information
12-123 Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215 898 2009
Lab: 215 898 2008
Semmelweis University, Medical School, Budapest, Hungary, 1995.
Semmelweis University, Medical School, Budapest, Hungary, 1997.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, 2004.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research interest: Work in my laboratory is aimed toward the understanding of molecular pathways that govern chronic kidney disease development.

Research details

Work in my laboratory is aimed towards the understanding of molecular pathways that govern chronic kidney disease development. We have two general areas of interest: hypothesis generating (high trough-put, translational) and mechanistic studies. Over the past 10 years we banked and analyzed (combined genetic, epigenetic and genomic approaches) a large number of healthy and diseased human kidney tissue samples. We hypothesize that integrative analysis of epigenetic and genetic settings in diseased cells can provide a rational basis for more accurately modeling the critical biological pathways involved in mediating the progressive phenotype in individual patients. We also predict that epigenomic integrative analysis can be used to determine the identity of chromatin and transcription factors that contribute mechanistically to aberrant transcriptional programming in chronic kidney disease, and that this information can be used for designing therapeutic strategies. We are specifically interested in defining cis-regulatory modules (promoters, enhancers and repressors) that govern the normal and altered epithelial phenotype in diseased kidneys.
In addition, we use genetic approaches and mouse as a model organism to test the role of candidate signaling molecules and regulatory pathways directly in vivo. The Cre/loxP and tet inducible transgenic technologies allow us to analyze the function of particular factors by deleting or overexpressing genes that encode them in specific cell types in the kidney. Specifically, we are working on determining the role of the Notch and Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in chronic kidney disease development, renal epithelial cell homeostasis, renal stem or progenitor cell function and differentiation. Our recent results highlight the role of embryonic programs in adult disease development.

Rotation Projects
There are several; please speak with Dr. Susztak.

Lab Personnel:

Szu-Yu Li MD- Visiting Associate Professor
Kimberley Reidy MD- Adjunct Assistant Professor
Dorottya Laczko MD PhD - Postdoctoral fellow
Shizheng Huang PhD- Postdoctoral fellow
Jihwan Park PhD- Postdoctoral fellow
Caroline Gluck MD-Fellow
Yi-an Ko- Graduate Student
Chengxiang Qiu MS-Programmer
Frank Chinga- Research Specialist
Matthew Seasock- Research Specialist
Josh Bryer- Research Specialist

Selected Publications:

Transgenic expression of human APOL1 risk variants in podocytes induces kidney disease in mice.
Beckerman P, Bi-Karchin J, Park AS, Qiu C, Dummer PD, Soomro I, Boustany-Kari CM, Pullen SS, Miner JH, Hu CA, Rohacs T, Inoue K, Ishibe S, Saleem MA, Palmer MB, Cuervo AM, Kopp JB, Susztak K.
Nat Med. 2017 Feb 20. doi: 10.1038/nm.4287.

Sox9-Positive Progenitor Cells Play a Key Role in Renal Tubule Epithelial Regeneration in Mice.
Kang HM, Huang S, Reidy K, Han SH, Chinga F, Susztak K.
Cell Rep. 2016 Feb 2;14(4):861-71.

Defective fatty acid oxidation in renal tubular epithelial cells has a key role in kidney fibrosis development.
Kang HM, Ahn SH, Choi P, Ko YA, Han SH, Chinga F, Park AS, Tao J, Sharma K, Pullman J, Bottinger EP, Goldberg IJ, Susztak K.

Cytosine methylation changes in enhancer regions of core pro-fibrotic genes characterize kidney fibrosis development.
Ko YA, Mohtat D, Suzuki M, Park AS, Izquierdo MC, Han SY, Kang HM, Si H, Hostetter T, Pullman JM, Fazzari M, Verma A, Zheng D, Greally JM, Susztak K.
Genome Biol. 2013;14(10):R108.

The Notch pathway in podocytes plays a role in the development of glomerular disease.
Niranjan T, Bielesz B, Gruenwald A, Ponda MP, Kopp JB, Thomas DB, Susztak K.
Nat Med. 2008 Mar;14(3):290-8.

Epithelial Notch signaling regulates interstitial fibrosis development in the kidneys of mice and humans.
Bielesz B, Sirin Y, Si H, Niranjan T, Gruenwald A, Ahn S, Kato H, Pullman J, Gessler M, Haase VH, Susztak K.
J Clin Invest. 2010 Nov;120(11):4040-54

Selected Publications

Li, X., Wang, K., Lyu, Y., Pan, H., Zhang, J., Stambolian, D., Susztak, K., Reilly, M. P., Hu, G., Li, M.: Deep learning enables accurate clustering with batch effect removal in single-cell RNA-seq analysis. Nat Commun 11(1): 2338, 2020.

Sheng, X., Qiu, C., Liu, H., Gluck, C., Hsu, J. Y., He, J., Hsu, C. Y., Sha, D., Weir, M. R., Isakova, T., Raj, D., Rincon-Choles, H., Feldman, H. I., Townsend, R., Li, H., Susztak, K.: Systematic integrated analysis of genetic and epigenetic variation in diabetic kidney disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020.

Rajendran, G., Schonfeld, M. P., Tiwari, R., Huang, S., Torosyan, R., Fields, T., Park, J., Susztak, K., Kapitsinou, P. P.: Inhibition of Endothelial PHD2 Suppresses Post-Ischemic Kidney Inflammation through Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1. J Am Soc Nephrol 31(3): 501-516, 2020.

Quinn, G. Z., Dhillon, P., Susztak, K.: It Takes Two to Tango: The Role of Dysregulated Metabolism and Inflammation in Kidney Disease Development. Semin Nephrol 40(2): 199-205, 2020.

Mukhi, D., Susztak, K.: The transcriptomic signature of the aging podocyte. Kidney Int 98(5): 1079-1081, 2020.

Lin, J., Susztak, K.: Complexities of Understanding Function from CKD-Associated DNA Variants. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 15(7): 1028-1040, 2020.

Kopp, J. B., Anders, H. J., Susztak, K., Podesta, M. A., Remuzzi, G., Hildebrandt, F., Romagnani, P.: Podocytopathies. Nat Rev Dis Primers 6(1): 68, 2020.

Kim, J. Y., Bai, Y., Jayne, L. A., Hector, R. D., Persaud, A. K., Ong, S. S., Rojesh, S., Raj, R., Feng, Mjhh, Chung, S., Cianciolo, R. E., Christman, J. W., Campbell, M. J., Gardner, D. S., Baker, S. D., Sparreboom, A., Govindarajan, R., Singh, H., Chen, T., Poi, M., Susztak, K., Cobb, S. R., Pabla, N. S.: A kinome-wide screen identifies a CDKL5-SOX9 regulatory axis in epithelial cell death and kidney injury. Nat Commun 11(1): 1924, 2020.

Hogan, J. J., Owen, J. G., Blady, S. J., Almaani, S., Avasare, R. S., Bansal, S., Lenz, O., Luciano, R. L., Parikh, S. V., Ross, M. J., Sharma, D., Szerlip, H., Wadhwani, S., Townsend, R. R., Palmer, M. B., Susztak, K., Mottl, A. K., Trident Study Investigators: The Feasibility and Safety of Obtaining Research Kidney Biopsy Cores in Patients with Diabetes: An Interim Analysis of the TRIDENT Study. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 15(7): 1024-1026, 2020.

Guan, Y., Liu, H., Ma, Z., Li, S. Y., Park, J., Sheng, X., Susztak, K.: Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b-Decommissioned Fetal Enhancers are Linked to Kidney Disease. J Am Soc Nephrol 31(4): 765-782, 2020.

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Last updated: 03/01/2021
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