Dr. Michelle Gumz’s Lab

Dr. Michelle Gumz Research Lab

Dr. Gumz lab

Dr. Gumz has a long-time interest in the molecular control of renal function. The Gumz laboratory is investigating the role of the circadian clock in the kidney. The focus is on the regulation of sodium transport in the kidney, which is critical to the control of blood pressure as well as to overall cardiovascular health. Aldosterone is a mineralocorticoid hormone that regulates sodium balance and blood pressure. As a graduate student, Dr. Gumz was the first to identify the circadian clock gene Period 1 as an aldosterone target. She has subsequently shown that Period 1 regulates transcription of alpha ENaC, the aldosterone-regulated and rate-limiting subunit of the epithelial sodium channel. Techniques commonly employed in the lab include microarray studies, real time PCR analysis, Western blotting, and analysis of DNA/protein interactions. In vitro experiments are routinely performed using several cell culture models of the renal collecting duct. Future experiments will utilize electrophysiology to measure sodium transport in these cell lines. In vivowork is done using mouse models and upcoming studies include the use of radio-telemetry to evaluate blood pressure in Period 1 knockout mice. The Gumz laboratory continues to identify novel Period 1 targets and determine how these targets contribute to the regulation of sodium transport in the kidney.

A complete listing of Dr. Gumz’ scientific journal publications.

Current Lab Personnel

Kit-Yan “Thomas” Cheng

Thomas is a biological scientist and lab manager in Dr. Michelle Gumz’ research laboratory. He assists Dr. Gumz with investigating the role of the circadian clock in the kidney and the circadian effects on sodium excretion and hypertension.Currently, Thomas is conducting cell culture and molecular biology experiments using renal collecting duct cell culture models and performing animal metabolic cage studies with mouse models to evaluate the blood pressure in Period 1 knockout mice.

Jacob Richards

Jacob received his his bachelors in Medicinal Chemistry from Palm Beach Atlantic University.He is now a graduate student at the University of Florida and is working with Dr. Michelle Gumz.His current research is towards identifying the possibility of the circadian protein Per1 being a drug target for hypertension.  Through the use of animal models, cell culture, and commercially available indirect inhibitors of Per1; they are testing the effect of pharmacological inhibition of Per1 on blood pressure.The goals of his research include identifying novel drug targets for cardiovascular disease including hypertension and also metabolic disorders through the targeting of the circadian clock.Jacob’s long-term career goal is to become a tenure-track investigator in biomedical research at an academic institution. 

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