Laboratory Research

Our Research Goals:

In the laboratory, we work on various combined clinical and bench work projects, to find foundation answers and gain understanding of the applicable pathways and mechanisms that play role in kidney stone formation. In addition, we are looking at the newest technology  available to improve devices that are used currently in kidney stone treatment. Our ultimate goal is to translate our discoveries from the laboratory to clinical applications, in order to minimize the burden of kidney stone disease.

Ongoing Research Projects:

Improving Peristaltic Movement in the Ureter Especially in Patients with Catheters: 

Erythropoietin has been shown to provide functional recovery and tissue regeneration in different organs, such as the brain, heart, small intestine and kidney in addition to its hematopoietic function. It was also proven to promote the regeneration of ureteral peristalsis in a murine model of transient obstruction. Ongoing lab research conducted by Elliya Park involves searching for molecular mechanisms underlying the phenomenon using RNA expression and protein change as observed in the tissue.

Exploring the Role of Bacteria in Non-Infection Related Stones:

The role of bacteria in forming infection related stones (ie. struvite stones) is a well studied process. However, there is also bacteria that has been found in non-infection related stones (ie. calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate) in which we do not know the role of bacteria as it pertains to stone formation (or if it plays a role at all). To address this question Anthony Emmott is removing bacteria from non-infection related stones (post PCNL) and trying to grow these bacteria in the presence of different solutions. If any bacteria are identified they are then compared to the bacteria that were present in the urine pre-PCNL to see if they correlate.

Metagenomics (Urine and Stool) Research Project:

David Choy (our masters student) is using DNA sequencing to look at the community of bacteria in the gut of calcium oxalate kidney stone patients. He is exploring how these bacteria work together to transport and digest nutrients and waste in our gut. Ultimately, his research will help to identify the right diet and the right gut combination of “good” bacteria for kidney stone patients that can reduce the amount of oxalate in the body.
For more information please visit our ongoing clinical trials page!