Dr Claire Sharpe
The renal sciences department is led by Dr Claire Sharpe and is based at the Denmark Hill Campus of KCL. The department, which includes Dr Qihe Xu and Dr Kate Bramham, covers a wide range of research including the following major themes:
-the use of new understanding of renal cell biology to define potential new therapies for kidney disease.
-Studies of Ras and Rho GTPases in renal fibrosis
-Renal fibrosis is characterised by the aberrant proliferation of renal fibroblasts and by epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of renal tubule cells. Our work seeks to define the critical and specific roles of individual Ras and Rho GTPases in these processes. This information is then used to define novel therapeutic strategies for further testing.
-Studies of Chinese herbs as antifibrotic agents
This project uses a novel cell-based screening assay to define the genuine anti-fibrotic actions of Chinese herb extracts. The work allows a rational scientific approach to the design of new antifibrotic agents based on the extensive empirical use of herbs in medical practice worldwide.
-Studies of calcium channels as targets in glomerular disease
This project examines the precise molecular basis for the observation that membrane calcium channel function appears to be required for normal proliferative signalling in renal mesangial cells. The work has a focus on the study of the family of T-type calcium channels. This project defines a new strategy for the treatment of mesangioproliferative renal disease including IgA nephropathy.
-Defining the actions of Retinoic acid on renal fibrosis
All trans retinoic acid (tRA) has a combination of molecular actions which are both pro-fibrotic and anti-fibrotic. These are likely to be based on the exact actions of tRA on the six known RAR and RXR retinoic acid receptors. This project is concerned with the definition of these pathways to describe the criteria for design of an anti-fibrotic based on tRA.