EM1801G "MicroRNAs: New Drug Targets for Kidney Diseases” (IM GR-012618)

The purpose of this presentation is to review following topics briefly: (i) Basic miRNA biology, (ii) Role of miRNAs in healthy and diseased kidney (Polycystic Kidney Disease), and (iii) Potential of RNA-based therapeutic approach.

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Target Audience

UT Southwestern faculty, fellows, residents and medical students, community physicians, nurse clinicians, physician assistants and nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand the basic mechanism of action of microRNAs.
  • Appreciate that microRNAs play a critical role in normal renal physiology and in the pathogenesis of diseases such as polycystic kidney disease.
  • Have a general idea of the state of the RNA and microRNA drug development field.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Vishal Patel, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Division of Nephrology

Dr. Patel’s primary research interest is to study the role of non-coding RNAs and RNA metabolism in the context of the healthy and diseased kidney. His group has uncovered new mechanisms by which microRNAs regulate kidney tubule development and homeostasis. They have also identified microRNAs as novel drug targets for polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a fatal but common genetic disorder, and co-developed a microRNA drug that is currently being tested in early-stage human clinical trials. This is the first instance where drug development starting from proof-of-principle mouse studies to lead compound optimization has explicitly been geared towards PKD. The research in Dr. Patel’s lab is funded by a R01 grant from the NIH and a SRA grant with Regulus therapeutics. He has previously been supported by NIH K08, R03, and challenge grants and a PKD foundation grant.

In 2017, Dr. Patel launched and now is the director of a new comprehensive polycystic kidney disease clinic and translational research center at UT Southwestern, first such clinic in the state of Texas. Dr. Patel has mentored several students and post-docs, including two physician-scientists who have both attained independent academic positions. He is a member of the scientific advisory board for the PKD foundation and executive advisory committee for the NIH-funded (P30) PKD center at University of Alabama Birmingham. He also serves as a scientific consultant for Regulus Therapeutics. Dr. Patel volunteers as an advocate for patients with PKD by organizing and presenting educational seminars for families affected by PKD and speaking at national and local events to increase awareness and raise funds for PKD research.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA


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