Browse/search for people

Professor Richard Coward

Molecular basis of glomerular and lower urinary tract diseases

Our research interests are in two areas; glomerular biology and the molecular biology underpinning lower urinary tract issues such as kidney stones and congenital urinary tract obstruction. Our work is based on conditionally immortalised cells derived from different parts of the kidney (both glomeruli and tubular cells) from man and mouse. Additionally, we have recently developed a number of transgenic murine models to further our knowledge of the importance of signalling pathways in these areas of the kidney. In the glomerulus we are focusing on the role of insulin and insulin-like growth factor signaling to the podocyte as we think this is potentially extremely important in understanding how kidney disease develops in diabetes mellitus (the leading cause of kidney failure in the world) and chronic kidney disease linked to glomerular dysfunction. Our stone studies are currently examing the molecular biology of cystinuria and the mechanisms through which cystine is absorbed from the urine in the proximal tubule. We are also examining the molecular basis of congenital pelvi-ureteric obstruction in children.

Ultimately we hope our work will lead to the development of novel therapies to help prevent kidney disease in susceptable patients.

Research keywords

  • podocyte
  • proximal tubular cell
  • diabetes
  • cystinuria