Kidney Stone Research


Development of Dipstick “Spot” Oxalate Test

Our lab has engineered an oxalate oxidase protein that can be expressed in tobacco leaves. Once purified, this enzyme can be used to measure spot urinary oxalate levels and give real-time oxalate feedback, similar to glucometers for diabetes.


Effect of Microbiome on Intestinal Calcium Transport

Our lab has developed the ability to differentially induce hypercalciuria using different oral antibiotics. We are currently investigating mechanisms behind this, including absorptive hypercalciuria and functional changes in the microbiome.


Randall’s Plaque Deposits on Renal Papilla

To better understand why these deposits form, Dr Paul R. Dominguez Gutierrez is characterizing the immune response in renal papillary tips and peripheral blood monocytes of calcium oxalate stone formers.

As no good models of human Randall Plaque exist, our team has partnered with Materials Science/Engineering to develop an in vitro model for studying the role of acidic proteins in Randall’s Plaque and stone formation in the setting of hyperoxaluria.


Training Program in Urologic Research

Our T32 program is only one of six in the country designed to educate/train surgeons and scientists to become successful, independently-funded investigators in benign urologic research.


Model of Gastric-Bypass Surgery

We are studying the effect of calcium and vitamin B6 supplementation on urinary oxalate levels in this established model.

With vitamin D standardized, we are examining the mechanisms of calcium malabsorption and bone loss to help guide therapies and supplementation protocols after patients, particularly women, have gastric bypass surgery.


Mechanisms of Abnormal Urine pH

Our lab has IRB approval to recruit 500 kidney stone formers to evaluate genes that may be responsible for abnormal control of urinary citrate and pH. Initial results in this area are very promising.


Development of a Kidney Stone Simulator

Using 24 hour urine and sequential imaging, we are creating a virtual kidney simulator that, once fully developed, can animate simulated stone growth for patients. We feel this will serve as an educational tool to motivate patients to improve their urinary crystal supersaturations and lower kidney stone risk.

Effect of Changing Cystoscopy Handling and Sterilization Processing on UTI Rate

We are evaluating the effect that the 2011 combined AUA/SUNA “White Paper” on cystoscope sterilization process has had on rates of UTI in our clinic.

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