Adebowale Adebiyi, PhD, of UTHSC Awarded $154,000 Grant to Study Kidney Function in Newborns

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Adebowale Adebiyi, PhD, received a $154,00 grant from the American Heart Association to research kidney function in newborns.

Adebowale Adebiyi, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Physiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a grant totaling $154,000 from the American Heart Association to research the cause and treatment of abrupt decline in kidney function in newborns, also known as acute kidney injury.

Funds will be used to support a project titled, “Myogenic Renal Autoregulation in Neonatal Acute Kidney Injury,” and will be distributed over two years.

Although both kidneys make up less than one percent of the total body weight, they receive almost a quarter of the blood supply from the heart every minute. The high rate of renal blood flow is required for the sustenance of the blood purification process within the kidneys. Unregulated blood pressure and blood flow may damage the kidneys. Healthy kidneys naturally maintain constant blood flow, despite fluctuations in blood pressure.

This phenomenon, known as renal autoregulation, is poorly understood in newborns. Research efforts in this study aim to reveal the mechanisms that underlie renal autoregulation in infants. as well as alterations that occur during an abrupt decline in kidney function.

“We are thrilled about this award because it will enable us to explore what triggers kidney failure during acute kidney injury,” said Dr. Adebiyi. “Sick infants with the condition have a high chance of death and are at a risk for the development of adult cardiovascular and kidney dysfunctions. Thus, our work will not only lead to better insights into how immature kidneys function, but it may identify novel therapeutic targets in cardiovascular and kidney disease.”

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke. For more information, visit www.heart.org.

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Dr. Adebowale Adebiyi, second from right, is pictured with his research team, from left, Dieni Peixoto-Neves, PhD; Hitesh Soni, PhD; and medical student Michael Olushoga.