Melissa Anslow, M.D.

  • Instructor in Pediatrics

Dr. Anslow's lab is interested in identifying the roles of microRNAs in lower urinary tract development and disease, with our current focus on vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), abnormal backflow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys, is associated with urinary tract infections, hypertension, and reflux nephropathy. Reflux nephropathy is the 4th most frequent cause of end-stage renal disease in children, resulting in dialysis and transplant. Thus, it is crucial to better understand the molecular pathogenesis underlying VUR to impact therapies and outcomes.

Published data has shown genomic polymorphisms in select microRNAs (miRNAs) that are associated with VUR in some children, but no causal role is established. miRNAs are small, noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally, and are known to be important in many developmental processes. To date, however, no one has shown that miRNA mutations cause VUR in humans or animal models.

Dr. Anslow's lab has observed abnormally high rates of VUR in a transgenic mouse model with deletion of miRNAs in the mesenchyme of the developing lower urinary tract. There is evidence of abnormal ureteric bud (proximal end becomes the ureter) induction site and subsequent abnormal ureter insertion into the bladder. Her current work focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms by which the abnormal ureteric bud and ureter positioning occurs. I am also working to profile the miRNA expression in the mesenchyme of the lower urinary tract and elucidate candidate miRNAs that may be important in lower urinary tract development and prevention of VUR.

Recent Presentations

Anslow MJ, Bodnar AJ, Bushnell DS, Sims-Lucas S, Bates CM, Ho J. 2018. Loss of Dicer activity in the peri-Wolffian duct stroma leads to increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux. Poster Presentation at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week Meeting. San Diego, CA. October 26 2018.

Anslow MJ, Bodnar AJ, Bushnell DS, Sims-Lucas S, Bates CM, Ho J. 2018. Loss of Dicer activity in the peri-Wolffian duct stroma leads to increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux. Poster Presentation at the CHRC Annual Retreat. Nashville, TN. October 11 2018.

Anslow MJ, Bodnar AJ, Bushnell DS, Sims-Lucas S, Bates CM, Ho J. 2017. Loss of Dicer activity in the peri-Wolffian duct stroma leads to increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux. Poster Presentation at the International Workshop on Developmental Nephrology. Tel Aviv, Israel. April 23 2018

Anslow MJ, Bodnar AJ, Sims-Lucas S, Bates CM, Ho J. 2017. Loss of Dicer activity in the peri-Wolffian duct stroma leads to increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux. Oral Platform Session Presentation at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week Meeting. New Orleans, LA. November 4 2017.

Anslow MJ, Bodnar AJ, Bushnell DS, Sims-Lucas S, Bates CM, Ho J. 2017. Loss of Dicer activity in the peri-Wolffian duct stroma leads to increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux. Oral Platform Session Presentation at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting. San Francisco, CA. May 8 2017.

Education & Training

  • College/Medical School: University of Pittsburgh / Temple University School of Medicine
  • Residency: Cleveland Clinic Children's

Representative Publications

Domis MJ and Moritz ML. Red man syndrome following intraperitoneal vancomycin in a child with peritonitis. Front. Pediatr. 2014 2 (55). DOI 10.3389/fped.2014.00055

Division

Lab