W. Robert DeFoor, MD, MPH

Dr. DeFoor, MD, MPH, is the lead author of a study that compared the use of two types of catheters in children on clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) for neurogenic bladder : uncoated conventional catheters and coated hydrophilic catheters. The study looked at the incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI), difficulty passing the catheter, urethral injury, and patient satisfaction. The study theorized that patients using the hydrophilic catheter would experience fewer urethral complications and UTIs. Findings included a significantly decreased number of UTI’s in patients using the coated hydrophilic catheter. In addition, most patients who used hydrophilic catheters were happy with the results, and many asked to continue using them after the study concluded. Based on the study results, hydrophilic catheters are now offered as an option for patients on CIC who have problems with infections while using conventional catheters.

Joo-Seop Park, PhD

The Park lab found a novel mechanism that regulates nephron progenitors, and published their findings in Development. They discovered that Notch signaling is necessary and sufficient for downregulation of Six2, a key transcription factor required for maintenance of nephron progenitor cells. This is an unexpected finding as it was previously believed that Notch signaling regulated a later stage of nephrogenesis by promoting the formation of proximal tubules and repressing the formation of distal tubules. On the contrary, they found that Notch signaling has a direct impact on the cell fate decision of nephron progenitors when each nephron begins to develop. This work presents a paradigm-shifting revision of the current model of Notch signaling in nephrogenesis.

Chung E, Deacon P, Marable S, Shin J, Park JS. Notch signaling promotes nephrogenesis by downregulating Six2. Development. 2016;143(21):3907-13.