Erika I. Boesen

Erika Boesen, PhDAssociate Professor
PhD 2005, Monash University
Specialty: Renal Physiology
Major Interests: Regulation of salt and water balance by the kidneys; Autocrine/paracrine mechanisms impacting renal function and injury; Lupus nephritis.

The kidneys play a key role in salt and water homeostasis and thus blood pressure control, as well as removal of waste products and generation of various hormones critical to overall health and well-being. Our research interests broadly relate to better understanding renal function under normal circumstances, and mechanisms that contribute to renal injury.  Current focal areas in the lab include:

1. Mechanisms of renal injury in lupus. 
Lupus is a chronic, often debilitating autoimmune disease that predominantly affects women. Currently there is no cure for lupus, and damage to the kidneys (lupus nephritis) is a serious and common complication of the disease, affecting approximately 50% of patients. Two projects are currently underway in our laboratory, investigating the role of iron accumulation and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in lupus nephritis, and whether blocking these processes protects the kidney. Our long-term goal is to identify new treatment options for lupus nephritis.

2. Role of Eps15 homology domain-containing proteins in renal function.
Trafficking of cellular membrane proteins has an enormous impact on the activity of enzymes, transport of ions and other molecules across the cell membrane, and on the availability of cell surface receptors to interact with ligands. The Eps15 homology domain-containing (EHD) protein family is emerging as a critical regulator of endocytic trafficking and cell surface protein expression. The four members of this protein family (EHD1 through 4), are expressed in a cell- and nephron-segment specific manner in the kidney, however, their roles in renal physiology and in pathophysiological conditions are almost completely unknown. Our studies are aimed at determining the contribution of this novel family of proteins to renal function in health and disease.

Additional interests and expertise:

Boesen's research image

Link to Publications