The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory seeks NIDDK R25 support for the fourth through eighth annual offerings of a one-week course for renal fellows, "The Origins of Renal Physiology," at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL), in Bar Harbor, Maine. The course will be held the first week of September 2011 through 2015. The proposed course provides renal fellows with hands-on research education in fundamental concepts of homeostasis and exposes them to the classical experiments that form the foundation of renal physiology and nephrology. Six course modules are proposed: glomerular filtration, proximal tubule function, thick ascending limb cotransporters, salt secretion and balance, collecting duct sodium transport / ENaC, and water homeostasis. An enrichment module in genetics will be added starting in 2011. Each of the six modules runs in three consecutive two-day rotations (Monday-Tuesday, Wednesday-Thursday, and Friday- Saturday), with the first day of each rotation involving intensive experimental work, and the second day involving analysis and presentation of the work to the entire course group. Each participant will complete three of the six planned modules during the three rotations. A case study-based Responsible Conduct in Research program will precede each rotation. Origins of Renal Physiology is entirely unique among national renal short courses. The course provides participants with research tools that give them a deeper understanding of concepts of physiological homeostasis which is difficult to attain during normal clinical training schedules. The course is open to renal fellows and, since 2010, on a space-available basis, medical residents entering nephrology. Fellows and residents alike benefit from close interactions with senior investigators in renal physiology who lead the course modules. Residents, in particular, benefit by working with fellows from different programs and sharing their insights into renal research and nephrology. The course is described on the MDIBL website (www.mdibl.org), and in a recent editorial in J. Am. Soc. of Nephrology (Zeidel et al., JASN 19: 649-50, 2008). Requested funds will cover course tuition and participant travel;faculty subsistence, honoraria, and travel;facility user fees;consultant services;and personnel costs required to administer the research education program.
The course Origins of Renal Physiology is highly relevant to biomedical research and the advancement of human health. Course participants are 36 renal felows. This number represents about 10% of the annual class of renal fellows in the United States, permitting the course to have a significant impact on the training of fellows nationally. Course faculty include clinical nephrologists and investigators. The participants perform experiments to elucidate kidney function including glomerular filtration, proximal tubule, thick ascending limb, and collecting duct transport, water homeostasis, cellular trafficking of transporter proteins, and the structure- function of transporter proteins such as aquaporins, urea carriers, ENaC and the Na/K/2Cl cotransporter, and receive training in responsible conduct in research. A new genetics enrichment module wil demonstrate genetic mutations indicated in human kidney diseases. Case studies in Responsible Conduct in Research will discuss the ethics of research collaboration, appropriate use of animal models, and protection of human subjects in clinical research.