The Dixon Laboratory focuses on understanding the genetic and cellular mechanisms of renal disease. Our two major areas of interest are the cellular response to microenvironments in the kidneys and urinary tract, and the role of cell signaling pathways in proliferative and cystic kidney diseases.
Bradley Dixon, MD, focuses on the effects of hyperosmolar microenvironments such as the lower urinary tract on the DNA damage response and DNA repair mechanisms of cells in that microenvironment. Understanding these effects may help to explain the increased risk of cancer experienced by gastric or intestinal tissues in an augmented bladder.
Brian Siroky, PhD, focuses on understanding the mechanisms of renal cyst and tumor formation that occur in the inherited disease Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), and the identification of targeted therapies for these lesions. He is also interested in the structural and functional relationship between renal epithelial primary cilia, which are specialized cellular organelles whose dysfunction is linked to cystogenesis, and mTOR signaling, the pathway that is dysregulated in TSC.
Drs. Dixon and Siroky also collaboratively focus on the mechanisms by which renal epithelial cells sense and adapt to a hyperosmolal microenvironment, specifically the role of the primary cilium in this process.
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Specific projects include:
- Investigating the effect of a hyperosmolal microenvironment on the DNA damage response and DNA repair of gastrointestinal epithelial and urothelial cells.
- Studying the role of the primary cilium in osmosensation, adaptation, and survival of renal epithelial cells to a hyperosmolal microenvironment, and the mechanisms involved in these processes.
- Exploring the cell signaling pathways that are disrupted in proliferative renal diseases, specifically Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), von Hippel-Lindau disease, Birt–Hogg–Dubé syndrome, and renal cancers, and identifying potential targeted therapies.
- Investigating the role of the primary cilium in the disruption of cell signaling pathways in cystic renal diseases, specifically TSC and the polycystic kidney diseases.
Learn more about our current projects.