Steven D. Funk, PhD
Instructor in Medicine
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
Extracellular matrices serve as a structural and signaling platform to direct the form and function of cell biology in many tissues. The extracellular matrix of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) of the kidney is a critical regulator of renal filtration and kidney health. Defects of the GBM, such as loss of type IV collagens (a3, a4, or a5) leading to Alport syndrome or loss of Lamininß2 leading to Pierson syndrome, lead to increased leakage of blood proteins into renal epithelial compartments, termed proteinuria. Albumin is the earliest and most abundant blood protein that induces renal epithelial injury, yet the mechanisms are poorly understood. My current work utilizes the albumin knockout mouse to study effects of albumin in renal injury in glomerular and tubular cells.