Joshua M. Thurman, MD
Photo: Joshua M. Thurman



Elected 2011

Dr. Thurman’s laboratory studies the immunologic basis of renal diseases. One of the primary topics of investigation focuses on how aseptic injury of the kidney (such as that caused by ischemia or toxins) activates the innate immune system, and how the resulting inflammatory response plays a critical role in the overall outcome. Work from his laboratory has explored the mechanisms by which the complement system is activated in ischemic acute kidney injury and in a model of secondary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, two diseases not traditionally regarded as immune-mediated. In addition to studying the mechanisms of innate immune activation, the laboratory has worked to develop new immunomodulatory therapeutic agents and novel methods for monitoring renal inflammation. Agents have been designed to target to specific anatomic locations and to block specific molecular pathways of inflammation. In collaboration with radiologists and biomechanical engineers at the University of Colorado, the laboratory has developed an MRI contrast agent that is targeted to molecular markers of inflammation (C3 activation fragments), and has also developed nuclear medicine probes to detect inflammation.. These imaging probes have been tested in several models of inflammatory renal disease. These methods are being developed to identify patients likely to benefit from complement inhibitory therapy and monitor the response of such patients to therapy.