I perform both basic and translational NIH-funded research related to mechanisms of tubular transport with implications for diabetes and hypertension. As founder and director of the nationally-certified Stanford Hypertension Center, my clinical and clinical research interests align with my laboratory research. In recognition of my research, I have served on study sections at the NIH and AHA and program committees for the ASN and AHA. I have also been privileged to have leadership roles in kidney disease, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. I have served as Chair of the Council on Kidney and Cardiovascular Disease for the AHA and played a major role for organizing the AHA Hypertension Annual Meeting, the preeminent scientific conference on hypertension in the United States. I began hypertension research in the laboratory of Dr. David Pearce at UC San Francisco, uncovering molecular mechanisms of aldosterone-regulated sodium transport. As an R01-funded independent investigator I have further elucidated the mechanistic roles of aldosterone and insulin in regulation of blood pressure. We have demonstrated that insulin does not appreciably regulate the epithelial sodium channel and have elucidated a novel role for insulin in sodium and glucose co-transport via SGLT2. As a co-PI for the Renal Science Core for the U01 CURE Consortium, I now also have the opportunity to study mechanisms of tubular transport in an epidemic of chronic kidney disease in developing countries. For my clinical research, I have highlighted the need to focus additional efforts on the role of aldosterone and the kidney in resistant hypertension. I have also mentored predoctoral (23), and postdoctoral (23) trainees, including a recent K08 awardee, and several have publications based on our work and five are now academic faculty. I am also the PI of a pre-doctoral institutional training grant for Nephrology (R25). Taken together, I continue to make scientific contributions to the fields of renal physiology and hypertension and have provided national leadership and supported individual trainees in these fields.
Vivek Bhalla, MD