Bruxelles Woluwe

Research Areas

Since the 1990s, the group is using a multi-level experimental approach to investigate mechanisms governing solute and water transport in various cell types including kidney tubular cells and endothelial cells.

These studies are relevant for: 

  • Regulation of epithelial functions in rare and frequent kidney diseases;
  • Mechanisms of water and solutes transport in peritoneal dialysis;
  • Progression and treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, the most frequent form of inherited kidney disorder

Clinical importance of kidney diseases

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global public health burden, affecting as many as 10-15% of the population worldwide, and exceeding 20% in individuals above 60 years. Patients with CKD are at risk for kidney failure, requiring kidney replacement therapy (i.e. dialysis or transplantation) and suffering from severely reduced quality of life, CKD-related comorbidities and reduced life expectancy. Even in the early stages, CKD is associated with increased prevalence and severity of multiple disorders and adverse outcomes, and it is a major risk factor for accelerated cardiovascular disease and ageing. Very few pharmacological interventions have been developed specifically for treating CKD, essentially due to (i) the lack of mechanistic understanding of chronic kidney damage; (ii) the unclear biochemical property needs required for novel therapeutic approaches; and (iii) the lack of renal biomarkers reflecting the severity of organ damage, complicating the design of effective clinical trials. Our research is deciphering the familial clustering of kidney diseases to gain insights into physiological and disease mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for CKD.