This proposal seeks to develop a cross-disciplinary research center for the study of urinary stone disease at the University of California, San Francisco. Kidney stones are a benign urologic disease affecting millions of Americans annually. Our research has discovered that non-calcium metals may play a critical role in initiating kidney stone calcification. We have demonstrated that the calcification process underlying stone formation may be shared across a broad range of diseases, including atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. We have therefore established a network of cross-disciplinary collaborators to explore these connections. This include experts in genetics, metal metabolism, advanced imaging, and physiology. Our proposed core research project focuses on advancing our understanding of how metals may play a critical role in calcification and kidney stone formation utilizing a novel Drosophila melanogaster model for urinary stone disease. Work will be performed in conjunction with collaborators at the O'Brien Urology Research Center at the Mayo Clinic, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and the Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Center. This core project will bring together different disciplines and different institutions to approach understanding urinary stone disease from a new and broad viewpoint. Dr. Marshall Stoller, the Center Director for this proposal, brings more than 25 years of cross-disciplinary research and clinical experience to the leadership team and as the head of the UCSF urinary stone division, is well qualified to run the center. Our administrative core will support an educational program that will bring together additional diverse perspectives on mineralization for the study of urinary stone disease with a series of workshops that will develop new dialogues and collaborative efforts for research in this field. Establishment of this center will make a significant impact on advancing collaborative research in the field of benign urology and our understanding and treatment of urinary stone disease.
Kidney stones are a benign urologic disease incurring significant cost and morbidity in the in- and out-patient settings. The pathophysiology underlying stone formation may be shared by many diseases. A program center drawing together multiple institutions and experts from various specialties will therefore be effective for advancing our research urinary stone disease. Translational findings for kidney stones will not only impact a large number of stone patients, they may ultimately advance our ability to treat a wide variety of disease.