About the Kreidberg-Schumacher Lab
The Kreidberg-Schumacher laboratory’s research is focused on the molecular biology of glomerular diseases such as Focal Segmental Glomerular Sclerosis (FSGS), with the goal of developing novel therapeutic approaches to prevent End Stage Kidney Disease. We are investigating how podocyte injury results in transcriptional reprogramming that determines whether podocytes are able to repair the glomerular filtration barrier, or suffer irreversible damage, leading to proteinuria and End Stage Kidney Disease. We are studying the function of transcription factors crucial to maintaining gene expression in podocytes and that modulate a repair response after injury.
We have recently begun studying how transitions in the repertoire of integrin adhesion receptors for the glomerular basement membrane during podocyte injury affect the transcriptional response. We are performing mechanistic studies and taking a systems biology approach to analyzing transcriptomics in podocytes. These studies will be translated into therapeutic approaches to prevent chronic kidney disease.
Jordan Kreidberg, MD, PhD
Jordan Kreidberg is a Professor in the Division of Nephrology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. He moved to the Division in the fall of 2022.
Previously he was a Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he started his laboratory in 1994. Dr. Kreidberg co-directs his laboratory with his colleague, Dr. Valerie Schumacher.
The laboratory’s research interest is focused the molecular biology of glomerular disease, and particularly on injury to podocytes, a key cell type in the glomerulus. The laboratory studies how transcriptional regulation by WT1 and other transcription factors regulates the podocyte response to injury, thus determining whether injury may be repaired or leads to irreversible kidney diseases such as focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS).
Most recently, he has combined his interest in cell adhesion and transcriptional regulation, through studies on how integrins regulate the YAP/TAZ transcription factors during podocyte injury. The goal of these studies is to develop therapeutic approaches to preventing End Stage Kidney Disease.
Dr. Kreidberg is an author of over 80 publications and several textbook chapters on kidney development and disease.
He has served on committees of the American Society of Nephrology and the National Kidney Foundation, and was an organizer of International Workshop on Developmental Nephrology. Dr. Kreidberg has a longstanding interest in mentoring trainees and in medical and graduate student education. He founded the Office of Fellowship Training at Boston Children’s Hospital and directed it for twenty years until moving to the BIDMC. He is also a faculty member of the Leder Human Biology program at Harvard Medical School where he directs a course that offers clinical exposure to graduate students seeking greater education in human disease.
For many years he has been involved in teaching genetics to first year medical students at Harvard Medical School and as a faculty member of a course in stem cells and vertebrate developmental biology for graduate students.
Valerie Schumacher, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Valérie Schumacher, obtained a Ph.D. in Human Genetics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and her “Habilitation” from the University of Duesseldorf, Germany. “Habilitation”, is a rank special to the German academic system, indicating that the “habilitated” individual is now eligible to become a member of the tenured faculty.
While working on her habilitation thesis, she performed a research fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. She moved to Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 2009 to establish her independent laboratory. In fall of 2022 she moved to the Division of Nephrology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she co-directs the laboratory with her colleague, Dr. Jordan Kreidberg.
Dr. Schumacher’s passion and research interest in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney failure derives both from her training in Human Genetics and her prior position in Germany where she had major responsibilities in the molecular diagnostics of human kidney diseases.
The major motivation and long-term goal of her research is to develop new treatments for glomerular disease by improving the regenerative capability of a highly specialized cell type in the kidney (podocytes), and thus to prevent end stage renal disease.
With this aim in mind her laboratory investigates how transcriptional and post-transcriptional changes affect the initiation and progression of kidney disease. The main focus lies on studying changes in RNA editing and localized mRNA translation.
More recently the Kreidberg-Schumacher laboratory has begun studying how changes in cell-matrix adhesion during podocyte injury affects the transcriptional repertoire and how this may be exploited therapeutically.