Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Laura Denby

ESAT Fellow

Phone: 0131 3302426781

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

My research in a nutshell

My primary area of research is investigating the mechanisms which lead to fibrosis following injury within the kidney and cardiovascular system.
Currently my group are interested in novel non-coding RNA, their target genes and the pathways they influence which are associated with renal injury, particular fibrosis.  We are also interested in those involved in repair processes. In particular we are interested in dysregulation of non-coding RNA in the cardiovascular system in response to renal dysfunction.
For over 5 years I have been working in the field of small non-coding RNA, miRNAs, involved in renal dysfunction and exploiting this for clinical translation. We have established that dysregulation of several miRNAs, including miR-214, miR-21 and miR-29 family are implicitly involved in renal dysfunction and in particular renal fibrosis. Blockade of miRNA-214 and -21 using genetic or pharmacological agents has the potential to block renal fibrosis and we are pursuing this for clinical translation.
Additionally my group has identified a miRNA signature which could potentially be used as a non-invasive biomarker of disease severity in IgA nephropathy (indicated by eGFR and renal biopsy assessment using the Oxford classification) or possibly in the wider CKD population. The signature could also be used to determine patients at high risk of progressive disease. Furthermore, this miRNA signature may represent a novel treatment responsive modifiable biomarker which would permit accelerated testing of new therapeutic interventions.

 

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