Sunder Sims-Lucas, PhD

  • Director, Histology Core and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Director of Student Research Training

Administrative Assistant: Rebecca L. Ceoffe

Dr. Sunder Sims-Lucas is a basic research scientist, he is trained as an anatomist and developmental biologist. His research focuses on the formation of the kidney and the the role of maternal stresses (including diabetes and malnutrition) on the formation of the kidney. Furthermore, his program focuses on acute kidney injury as well as the mechanisms that lead to predisposition to injury.

The long term goal of Dr. Sims-Lucas' research relates to the development of therapeutics to mitigate acute kidney injury. He has authored more than 60 publications and has an NIH R01 funded research program. He has a passion related to education and is the Director of Student Research Training at the Rangos Research Center and is integral in all levels of training including highschool students, undergraduate students, graduate students and post-docs. Finally, he is also the Director of the Histology Core at the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Society of Nephrology, 2008-Present
  • North American Vascular Biology Organization, 2012-Present
  • Vascular Medicine Institute, 2012-Present
  • American Society of Physiology, 2013-Present

Education & Training

  • BSc, Anatomy/Physiology, Monash University, 2001
  • BSc (Hons), Kidney Development, Monash University, 2002
  • PhD, Kidney Development, Monash University, 2007
  • Postgraduate Work, Lung Stem Cells, Australian Stem Cell Center, 2007
  • Postgraduate Work, Kidney Development, Nationwide Children's Hospital, 2007-2008
  • Postgraduate Work, Kidney Development, University of Pittsburgh, 2008-2012

Selected Publications

Dangle P, Salgado C, Reyes-Mugica M, Schneck F, Ost M, Sims-Lucas S. Testicular Hypoplasia Is Driven by Defective Vascular Formation. Urology. 2017 Mar;101:94-98.

Casinelli G, LaRosa J, Sharma M, Cherok E, Banerjee S, Branca M, Edmunds L, Wang Y, Sims-Lucas S, Churley L, Kelly S, Sun M, Stolz D, Graves JA. N-Myc overexpression increases cisplatin resistance in neuroblastoma via deregulation of mitochondrial dynamics. Cell Death Discov. 2016 Dec 12;2:16082.

Zhang Y, Bharathi SS, Rardin MJ, Lu J, Maringer KV, Sims-Lucas S, Prochownik EV, Gibson BW, Goetzman ES. Lysine desuccinylase SIRT5 binds to cardiolipin and regulates the electron transport chain. J Biol Chem. 2017 Jun 16;292(24):10239-10249.

Mukherjee E, Maringer K, Papke E, Bushnell D, Schaefer C, Kramann R, Ho J, Humphreys BD, Bates C, Sims-Lucas S. Endothelial marker-expressing stromal cells are critical for kidney formation. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2017 Sep 1;313(3):F611-F620.   

Su S, Guntur AR, Nguyen DC, Fakory SS, Doucette CC, Leech C, Lotana H, Kelley M, Kohli J, Martino J, Sims-Lucas S, Liaw L, Vary C, Rosen CJ, Brown AC. A Renewable Source of Human Beige Adipocytes for Development of Therapies to Treat Metabolic Syndrome. Cell Rep. 2018 Dec 11;25(11):3215-3228.e9.

Cargill K, Hemker SL, Clugston A, Murali A, Mukherjee E, Liu J, Bushnell D, Bodnar AJ, Saifudeen Z, Ho J, Bates CM, Kostka D, Goetzman ES and Sims-Lucas S. Von Hippel-Lindau Acts as a Metabolic Switch Controlling Nephron Progenitor Differentiation. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Jul;30(7):1192-1205.

Francipane MG, Han B, Oxburgh L, Sims-Lucas S, Li Z, Lagasse E. Kidney-in-a-lymph node: A novel organogenesis assay to model human renal development and test nephron progenitor cell fates. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2019 Sep;13(9):1724-1731.

Cerqueira DM, Hemker SL, Bodnar AJ, Ortiz DM, Oladipupo FO, Mukherjee E, Gong Z, Appolonia C, Muzumdar RH, Sims-Lucas S, Ho J. In utero exposure to maternal diabetes impairs nephron progenitor differentiation. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2019 Nov 1;317(5):F1318-F1330.

Chiba T, Peasley KD, Cargill KR, Maringer KV, Bharathi SS, Mukherjee E, Zhang Y, Holtz A, Basisty N, Yagobian SD, Schilling B, Goetzman ES, Sims-Lucas S. Sirtuin 5 Regulates Proximal Tubule Fatty Acid Oxidation to Protect against AKI. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Dec;30(12):2384-2398.

Anslow MJ, Bodnar AJ, Cerqueira DM, Bushnell D, Shrom BE, Sims-Lucas S, Bates CM, Ho J. Increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux in mice from deletion of Dicer in the peri-Wolffian duct stroma. Pediatr Res. 2020 Feb 3.

Cargill K, Chiba T, Murali A, Mukherjee E, Crinzi E, and Sims-Lucas S. Prenatal hypoxia increases susceptibility to kidney injury. PLOS ONE Accepted 02/11/2020.

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Research Grants

NIH R01DK125015, Endothelial miR-17~92 protects against acute kidney injury (MPI, 25% effort), 2020-2025, $1,444,173.

NIH R01DK121758, The role of Sirtuin 5 in acute kidney injury (PI, 35% effort), 2020-2025, $1,795,417.

NIH R56DK121758, The role of Sirtuin 5 in acute kidney injury (PI, 10% effort), 2019-2020, $60,000.

University of Virginia Pediatric Center of Pilot Award, The role of maternal diabetes in patterning the formation of the kidney (PI, 5% effort), 2019-2021, $80,000.

University of Pittsburgh- O’Brien Center Pilot Grant, Fatty acid oxidation switching protects against kidney injury (PI, 5% effort), 2019-2021, $30,000.

University of Pittsburgh – Deans Faculty Development Award, The role of Sirtuin 5 in acute kidney injury (PI, 10% effort), 2019-2021, $70,000.

NIH R01AR074981, Phosphate signaling in bone mineralization, (Co-I, 5% effort), 2019-2024, $150,000.

United States Department of Defense, GRANT12540859, Modeling the effects of stroma on clear cell renal cell carcinoma (Co-I, 10% effort), 2018-2021, $100,000.

NIH UG3/UH3DK114891, Phenotyping Renal Cases in Sepsis and surgery for Early Acute Kidney Injury (PReCISE AKI) (Co-I, 10% effort), 2017-2022, $100,000.