NYMC > NYMC-WAKF Renal Research Institute

NYMC-WAKF Renal Research Institute

  • Founded: 2002
  • Purpose: To engage in biomedical research and to produce scholarly programs and publications in the field of nephrology and kidney functions, ailments, conditions, and treatments.
  • Objectives: To facilitate translational laboratory-to-clinic research into early preclinical markers of endothelial dysfunction; to serve as a platform for educational activities including a renal fellowship training program, lecture series, and summer training for high school students; to serve as a site for annual international sabbatical professorship; and to provide summer training program for medical students.

The Westchester Artificial Kidney Foundation and New York Medical College established the Renal Research Institute in 2002. Its objective is to characterize the mechanisms of progression of kidney disease with the focus on endothelial dysfunction as a harbinger of atherosclerotic, diabetic and hypertensive vascular damage.

Studies into premature senescence of endothelial cells have resulted in discovery of lysosomal dysfunction and aberrations of mitochondrial metabolism. Therapeutic options to curtail these abnormalities are being investigated by the team of postdoctoral fellows, residents, graduate students and high-school students.

The failure of kidney regeneration is attributable to incompetence of endothelial progenitor cells; the mechanisms of incompetence are being studied, and pharmacological approaches have been discovered that will restore their competence and treat experimental chronic kidney disease. For acute kidney injury, general mechanisms have been discovered relating to SOS signaling, resulting in mobilization of intrinsic stem cells for organ repair. In addition, clinical translational studies are focused on identifying dialysis patients at risk for cardiovascular complications, and searching for diagnostic biomarkers of chronic allograft nephropathy in kidney transplant recipients to assist in making informed therapeutic decisions.


Mathew Plotkin, M.D.
Jun Chen, M.D., Ph.D.
Brian B. Ratliff, Ph.D.