Research stay at the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC)
by Thomas Ebert (postdoc at Leipzig University): From January 3rd, 2014 – April 4th 2014, I had the opportunity to stay at the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tennessee as a visiting scholar.
In our group in Leipzig (headed by Prof. Mathias Fasshauer), we focus on adipocyte-secreted proteins, so called adipokines, in renal dysfunction. To investigate adipokines in diabetic nephropathy (DN), a severe consequence of long-term diabetes mellitus, animal studies are vitally important. The group of Prof. Raymond C. Harris (Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at VUMC) introduced the enos db/db-mouse as the currently best mouse model to study DN. Therefore, we were interested in their DN-prone mice and asked whether a short exchange would be possible. We appreciated the positive answer of Dr. Harris very much and in January 2014, I started my 3 months-trip to the “Music City” Nashville, TN. During the 3 months in Nashville, I was able to obtain knowledge in the enos db/db-mouse and learned basic techniques to study DN in rodents. Furthermore, Dr. Harris and his colleagues showed me how to investigate different renal endpoints. During the stay, I could even start working on some of our proposed projects in Leipzig.
Besides getting in touch with the lab work at Dr. Harris’ Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, I travelled a lot during the weekends and I was able to see many parts of „The Volunteer State“ Tennessee including Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga and the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But Nashville is not just located in the middle of Tennessee but also just next to many other important cities of other States, such as Indianapolis, Louisville, Atlanta and Birmingham.
My experiences in Nashville will help me to set up experiments for our new projects in Leipzig within the IFB AdiposityDiseases. I gratefully appreciate the grant of the IFB supporting me during the research stay („MetaRot program“).