The Clinkenbeard lab led by Erica Clinkenbeard, PhD, is focused on understanding the molecular mechanism driving bone loss in chronic kidney disease – mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD). Dovetailed studies in animal models of CKD and tissue culture work to identify novel targets for therapeutic interventions.
Disrupted mineral metabolism in CKD-MBD is linked to bone fragility and increased fracture risk leading to morbidity and mortality in these patients. Unfortunately, there are no current therapeutics to dramatically improve fracture risk; thus, the underlying effects of CKD on bone homeostasis are not fully understood. The lab uses a mouse model of induced CKD to recapitulate both the metabolic and bone phenotypes observed in CKD patients as well as understand the molecular pathways involved through genetic manipulations. These studies coupled with in vitro techniques serve to elucidate uremic factors that contribute to bone loss and how they alter the differentiation and function of osteoblasts, the bone forming cells.