Our faculty members conduct research through clinical investigation, clinical trials and laboratory studies. Clinical studies are performed through the departmental Research Resource Office. The following information details the faculty's interests in the areas of renal and nephrology research.
Michael C. Braun, M.D.
Dr. Braun’s research focuses on immune-mediated mechanism of renal injury. Using murine models of lupus nephritis and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), his laboratory is investigating the mechanisms by which the complement system both initiates renal injury and alters the host adaptive immune response to glomerular damage. The current focus of this work is on the role of the receptors for the complement cleavage products C3a and C5a, as well as the effects of sub-lytic membrane attack complex deposition on renal parenchymal cell responses. Dr. Braun’s clinical research interests are in the areas of complement mediated glomerular diseases, MPGN in particular, and disease recurrence in renal allografts.
Eileen D. Brewer, M.D.
Dr. Brewer’s research focuses on clinical investigation of kidney diseases in children and adolescents and currently includes studies of fibroblastic growth factor 23 and dysfunctional mineral metabolism as potential cardiovascular risk factors in pediatric patients with end-stage renal disease. She participates as institutional principal investigator in national multi-center clinical investigations, such as the NIH-sponsored randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of antimicrobial prophylaxis in children with vesicoureteral reflux and urinary tract infection.
Ewa Elenberg, M.D.
Dr. Elenberg is a national expert in cystinosis; in 2009, she received a grant from the Cystinosis Research Network to study quality of life in patients with cystinosis. She is currently in the planning stage of a major study aimed at developing a better drug that will improve quality of life for patients with cystinosis.
Arundhati S. Kale, M.B.B.S. M.D.
Dr. Kale is the local principal investigator for the midwest pediatric nephrology consortium (MWPNC) studies involving nephrotic syndrome, FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis) and minimal change disease. Currently active studies include the ACTIVATE trial of ACTH in steroid dependent nephrotic syndrome.
Mini Michael, M.B.B.S., M.D.
Dr. Michael is involved in clinical research. She has expertise in performing systematic reviews and recently completed a systematic review of randomized controlled studies on interventions for hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. She is involved in conducting a retrospective review of pediatric renal transplantation outcomes with long-term dual immunosuppression being followed at Texas Children's for the last 20 years in collaboration with Drs. Brewer and Kale. Dr. Michael is a co-investigator for the midwest pediatric nephrology consortium (MWPNC) studies involving atypical HUS. Currently active studies include the KidCOM registry of complemented mediated kidney diseases in children.
Poyyapakkam R. Srivaths, M.B.B.S., M.D.
Dr. Srivaths’ research focus is investigating cardiovascular morbidity associated with end-stage renal disease in children. He and his colleagues have completed a pilot project assessing prevalence and progression of cardiac calcifications in children receiving hemodialysis. He is expanding this research to assess cardiac calcifications in children receiving peritoneal dialysis and is also undertaking a project comparing calcifications and vascular compliance in children with end-stage renal disease.
Dr. Srivaths is the local principal investigator for the NIH funded CKiD study.
Sarah J. Swartz, M.D.
Dr. Swartz’s research interests lie in childhood hypertension. She is interested in further defining the physiologic steps involved in the early development of essential hypertension. By elaborating on these early pathophysiologic changes, she hopes to improve treatment and potentially prevent the progression of essential hypertension.
Scott C. Wenderfer, M.D., Ph.D.
Dedicated to training the next generation of basic scientists and physician-scientists, Dr. Wenderfer collaborates widely with other investigators in Houston and around the world. Projects his laboratory include quantitative fluorescence microscopy, immunology, and biochemistry studies, tissue culture studies, animal modeling, and translational investigations. Immune complexes of all types are characterized in vitro and in vivo. Primary cultures for each kidney cell types are studied for cell-specific responses. Mouse models of circulating immune complex kidney accumulation are used to validate findings in vivo. Funding for this research has been obtained from the NIH and National Kidney Foundation. Dr. Wenderfer mentors students as faculty in Baylor College of Medicine's Immunology Graduate Program.
Dr. Wenderfer is the local principal investigator for the midwest pediatric nephrology consortium (MWPNC) studies involving lupus nephritis. Currently active studies include the pediatric LN registry.