About Dr. Valerie Schumacher

Valerie Schumacher, PhDValerie Schumacher, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Valérie Schumacher, obtained a PhD 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.