Dr. Jacqueline Ho (left) attending Dr. Shelby Hemker's thesis defense
The Jacqueline Ho laboratory focuses on understanding how microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate kidney development and disease. MiRNAs are small, non-coding RNA molecules that function as negative regulators of gene expression. Her laboratory has recently shown that miRNAs are involved in regulating the proliferation, survival, and differentiation of nephron progenitors, which give rise to the nephron, the functional unit in the kidney. To make an impact on patients with CKD, the lab is studying how miRNAs are involved in determining how many nephrons are formed during kidney development and in normal nephron formation.
Dr. Ho’s lab has also begun basic science studies on how certain in utero exposures may affect kidney development, specifically maternal diabetes and hypoxia, and how this might impact the risk of chronic kidney disease in children.