About Michelle L Gumz
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology and Aging. My research group focuses on the role of the circadian clock in the kidney and how it contributes to the regulation of renal function and blood pressure control. This work includes the study of sex differences in the action of the clock proteins PER1 and BMAL1 as well as the use of hypertension models. We use rodent models to better understand the integrative physiology of the circadian clock with the ultimate goal that our findings will contribute to the development of new therapies for kidney disease and hypertension in humans. Recently, our work has expanded to include investigation of circadian clock crosstalk between the kidneys and adrenal glands and how that influences renal function, blood pressure regulation, and the physiology of the aging kidney.
Dr. Gumz has a long-time interest in the molecular control of renal function. The Gumz laboratory is investigating the role of the molecular circadian clock in the kidney with the long term goal of determining how the clock in the kidney contributes to the control of blood pressure as well as to overall cardiovascular health. Aldosterone is a mineralocorticoid hormone that regulates sodium balance and blood pressure. As a graduate student, Dr. Gumz was the first to identify the circadian clock gene Period 1 (Per1) as an aldosterone target. She has subsequently shown that the PER1 protein regulates transcription of alpha ENaC, the aldosterone-regulated and rate-limiting subunit of the epithelial sodium channel that plays a key role in maintaining electrolyte balance and blood pressure. New areas of study include cross talk between the kidney clock and other tissue clocks as well as sex differences in the function of PER1 and BMAL1, another critical core clock protein.