Anita Layton (MSc 1991, PhD 2001), Duke University "Understanding Kidney Physiology: A Modeling Approach"
The kidney not only filters metabolic wastes and toxins from the body, it also regulates the body's water balance, electrolyte balance, and acid-base balance, blood pressure, and blood flow. Despite intense research, aspects of kidney functions remain incompletely understood. I will discuss how our group use mathematical analysis and modeling techniques to address a host of previously unanswered questions in renal physiology and pathophysiology: Why is the mammalian kidney so susceptible to hypoxia, despite receiving ~25% of the cardiac output? What are the mechanisms underlying the development of acute kidney injury in a patient who has undergone cardiac surgery performed on cardiopulmonary bypass? How is renal blood flow affected by the interactions between negative and positive feedback mechanisms?