Tarek M. Ashkar (El-Achkar), MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Research II, Suite 202 950 W Walnut St
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5188
Titles & Appointments
- Adjunct Associate Professor of Cellular & Integrative Physiology
- Adjunct Associate Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology
Our lab has been focusing on the role of Tamm-Horsfall protein (Uromodulin) in Kidney Injury and inflammation. We uncovered a novel protective role for Uromodulin in acute kidney injury by down-regulating the inflammatory response and modulating neutrophil infiltration. Our current investigations are aimed at defining the molecular mechanism involved in this regulation, with a long term goal of using such insights to design novel therapeutic tools to treat patient with Acute Kidney Injury.
We are also interested in understanding and defining tubular cross-talk that occurs between various nephron segments, and the ensuing interaction with the renal immune system in physiological states and during kidney injury. We use several animal models for kidney injury, and various genetic, molecular and cell biology techniques, with special expertise in various forms of microscopy and quantitative image analysis. We also developed advanced expertise in performing immuno-fluorescence guided Laser Micro-dissection (LMD) to dissect specific nephron segments for down-stream transcriptomic and proteomic analysis.
Because of our expertise in tissue interrogation, we also developed interest in uncovering cellular and molecular omics signatures from human biopsy tissue to correlate with disease phenotype and outcomes. The goal is to implement a precision medicine approach to understand disease pathogenesis and treatment. Using this approach, we are currently involved in a large cooperative study to understand the pathogenesis of human kidney stone disease by molecular interrogation of kidney papillary biopsies taken during surgery.
Immunofluorescence laser micro-dissection of specific nephron segments in the mouse kidney allows targeted downstream proteomic analysis.
An intricate network of conserved DNA upstream motifs and associated transcription factors regulate the expression of uromodulin gene.
Tamm-Horsfall protein translocates to the basolateral domain of thick ascending limbs, interstitium, and circulation during recovery from acute kidney injury.
Endotoxin uptake by S1 proximal tubular segment causes oxidative stress in the downstream S2 segment.
American Physiology Society