I am presently investigating the pathology of tissue fibrosis pertaining to kidneys and the peritoneum. I am interested in cytokines, growth factors, and cells involved in the progression or maintenance of fibrosis and tissue regeneration; the role of angiogenesis in fibrosis; and gene therapy and pharmacologic techniques to interfere with fibrosis.
I am specifically studying the process of epithelial mesenchymal transition in peritoneal fibrosis. This is a central process in the early stage of fibrosis, and transition to metastatic disease. I have been interested in localized gene expression and use laser capture microdissection to evaluate mRNA responses in progressive or resolving tissue injury. I have been studying the role of transforming growth factor beta in angiogenesis and specifically the regulation of angiopoietins in fibrotic tissue. These studies have wide applicability to scar formation, ischemic disease, and cancer. We have used adenovirus mediated gene therapy to inhibit fibrosis and angiogenesis and are exploring other gene therapy techniques. I have also studied the use of novel pharmacologic agents for modulating the fibrogenic response; specifically the chemotherapeutic agents paclitaxel and thalidomide.
We use adenovirus mediated gene transfer, animal models of renal disease and peritoneal fibrosis, transgenic animals, cell culture techniques, quantitative real time PCR, western blot, ELISA, zymography, histology, fluorescent and light immunohistochemistry, EM, and laser capture microdissection.