Katalin Susztak, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine (Renal Electrolyte and Hypertension Division) and Genetics University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Katalin Susztak is a physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania. Her laboratory is interested in understanding the pathomechanisms of chronic kidney disease development. Her laboratory uses next generation sequencing methods and a large collection of human kidney tissue samples to identify novel pathways and biomarkers. At present there are more than 1,400 kidney tissue samples in her Biobank. The samples are carefully annotated with functional (eGFR and albuminuria) and structural (glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis) parameters. RNAsequencing analysis has been completed for more than 600 microdissected glomerular and tubular samples. These discovery approaches are complemented with careful cell and molecular biological studies to define the role of individual genes and pathways. This analysis identified a concerted dysregulation of immune system, metabolic, and developmental genes (Niranjan et al. Nature Medicine 2008, Kang et al Nature Medicine 2015). While transcript level differences can highlight important changes in human CKD, we believe that integrating these results with genetic and epigenomic studies will be essential to identify causal pathways for CKD development. As such, her laboratory has been part of the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Projects to characterize the epigenome of healthy and diseased kidneys. Dr. Susztak has been the recipient of the 2011 Young Investigator Award of the American Society of Nephrology and American Heart Association, one of the most prestigious awards given to researchers under the age of 41 in the field of nephrology. Her laboratory is supported by the National Institute of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and private sources.
I think this is a really exciting time in science. New technologies are emerging, which will really accelerate research progress, and I think we have fantastic new discoveries ahead of us in biology.