Arohan R. Subramanya, MD, FASN

  • Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Director, Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Subramanya's research interests are devoted to understanding how the renal tubule controls electrolyte homeostasis. He is a leading authority on With-No-Lysine (WNK) kinases, a family of chloride-sensing molecular switches that control ion transport into and out of cells. He has discovered novel molecular mechanisms that allow the distal kidney tubule to coordinate blood pressure and potassium balance. He has also defined more general mechanisms by which cells throughout the body sense their size and control their volume. These discoveries have implications for a variety of diseases, including hypertension, chronic kidney disease, electrolyte disorders, and stroke.

Subramanya's research team employs a molecule-to-organism approach that integrates in vitro observations in the test tube with imaging methods and whole animal physiology studies in genetically modified mice. His laboratory commonly employs state-of-the-art approaches in gene editing, fixed and live cell microscopy, and proteomics to understand the kidney's role in health and disease.

Education & Training

  • BS, University of Michigan, 1993
  • MD, Case Western Reserve University, 1998

Selected Publications

Roy A, Goodman JH, Begum G, Donnelly BF, Pittman G, Weinman EJ, Sun D, Subramanya AR. Generation of WNK1 knockout cell lines by CRISPR/Cas-mediated genome editing. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2015 Feb 15;308(4):F366-76. Epub 2014 Dec 4. PMID 25477473.

Roy A, Al-Qusairi L, Donnelly BF, Ronzaud C, Marciszyn AL, Gong F, Chang YPC, Butterworth MB, Pastor-Soler NM, Hallows KR, Staub O, Subramanya AR. Alternatively spliced proline-rich cassettes link WNK1 to aldosterone action. J Clin Invest 2015 Sep;125(9):3433-48. Epub 2015 Aug 4. PMID: 26241057 Research highlight in Nature Reviews Nephrology: Epub 2015 Aug 25. PMID: 26303779

Al-Qusairi L, Basquin D, Roy A, Rajamram RD, Maillard M, Subramanya AR**, Staub O. Renal tubular ubiquitin protein ligase NEDD4-2 is required for renal adaptation during long-term potassium depletion. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Aug;28(8):2431-2442. Epub 2017 Mar 13. PMID: 2829184.

Boyd-Shiwarski CR, Shiwarski DJ, Roy A, Nkashama LJ, Namboodiri HN, Xie J, McClain KL, Marciszyn A, Kleyman TR, Tan RJ, Stolz DB, Puthenveedu MA, Huang CL, Subramanya AR**. Potassium-regulated distal tubule WNK bodies are kidney-specific WNK1 dependent. Mol Biol Cell 2018 Feb 15;29(4):499-509. Epub 2017 Dec 13. PMID: 29237822.

Boyd-Shiwarski CR, Weaver CJ, Beacham RT, Shiwarski DJ, Connolly KA, Nkashama LJ, Mutchler SM, Griffiths SE, Knoell SA, Sebastiani RS, Ray EC, Marciszyn AL, Subramanya AR. Effects of extreme potassium stress on blood pressure and renal tubular sodium transport. Am J Physiol – Renal Physiol. 2020 Jun 1;318(6):F1341-F1356. Epub 2020 Apr 13. PMID: 32281415

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Research Grants

R01, Regulation of Renal WNK Signaling in Intercalated Cells (PI), 2019-2024, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Disease