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Houston, Texas

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Department of Medicine - Section of Nephrology
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William E. Mitch, M.D., FASN, FAHA

Gordon A. Cain Professor of Medicine and Chief of NephrologyWilliam E. Mitch, M.D.

Academic Office
1709 Dyden St., 9th floor, MS: BCM 620, Houston, TX 77030-3411
Office: 713-798-8350, Fax: 713-798-3510, E-mail:

Research Office
One Baylor Plaza, Alkek N-520.01, MS: BCM 285 Houston, TX 77030-3411
Office: 713-798-1302, Fax: 713-798-5010

Patient Clinic Appointments: 713-798-2500


B.A. Harvard University Cambridge, Mass.; M.D. Harvard Medical School, Boston Mass.; Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Mass.; Resident Fellow, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Mitch's clinical areas of interest include acute and chronic kidney failure. Dr. Mitch is recognized around the world as an expert on the care of patients with hypertension and chronic kidney disease, using dietary methods to protect the kidney.

Research Interests

We are investigating the mechanisms that regulate protein metabolism, placing emphasis on how kidney disease changes protein metabolism. The experimental models being studied include cultured muscle cells and studies of muscle metabolism in rodent models of kidney disease or models of the complications of kidney disease. Specifically, we have identified that muscle protein breakdown is accelerated by chronic kidney disease and this response can be linked specifically to complications of kidney disease, namely, metabolic acidosis, high levels of angiotensin II and impaired signaling through the insulin/IGF-1 pathway. These “triggers” activate the ubiquitin-proteasome system and caspase-3 in muscle to degrade protein. We have identified that certain cytokines as well as defects in insulin/IGF-1 signaling accelerate breakdown muscle protein. We also have found that these same pathways are present in other catabolic conditions including burn injury, inflammation, sepsis, etc. The goal is to develop methods of blocking these pathways to correct the loss of muscle protein.

Besides laboratory methods, we are collaborating to identify methods for detecting abnormalities in protein metabolism in patients. For example, we have developed a method for assessing muscle protein metabolism in patients.

These projects are supported by the National Institutes of Health and grants from foundations.

View a full list of Dr. Mitch's Publications

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