Researcher Spotlight: Feng Qian, Ph.D.

Published on November 2, 2021

Feng Qian, Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine


Dr. Feng Qian

Feng Qian, Ph.D. (second from the left) and his lab team

How did you first get involved in PKD research?

Feng: I first got involved in PKD research at my postdoctoral fellowship at Yale and then Johns Hopkins University. The motivation has been the great medical significance and fascinating biology.

What are you working on currently?

Feng: We’re working on molecular function and regulation mechanism of gene products of principal PKD genes (PKD1, PKD2, and PKHD1). One focus is to elucidate the role of a key post-translational modification (GPS cleavage) of polycystin-1 for its function and PKD. Another research aim is to define the specific role of polycystin-1/polycystin-2 complex channel in the pathogenesis of PKD. Lastly, we’re working on the molecular function of fibrocystin/polyductin and pathomechanism of ARPKD.

What would you like the patient community to know about your research?

Feng: Our basic research aims to develop a mechanistic understanding of the processes that underlie PKD and to use the insights to provide rationales and drug targets for effective PKD therapies.

Do you have any personal connections to PKD?

Feng: I have a relative who has a family history of ADPKD. I also know a few friends affected by the disease.

What excites you most about this research?

Feng: What excites me most about this research is the possibility of having significant impacts on improving the well-being of PKD patients.

What are some of your personal interests outside of research?

Feng: I enjoy reading, painting, photography, and hiking. I also like to travel with my family and friends to local and foreign places.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Feng: I used to have my two [then] teenage daughters to [proof]read my PKD research grants. One of them has gone to a local Walk for PKD.   Want to learn more about Dr. Feng Qian’s project and others funded by the PKDF? Find them here! And read more recent researcher spotlights.

The PKD Foundation is the largest private funder of PKD research in the U.S. Since 1982, we’ve invested over $50 million in more than 1,300 research, clinical and scientific grants, fellowships, and scientific meetings. Each year, the Foundation identifies and supports the work of scientists and researchers from around the world who look for ways to treat and eventually cure PKD. Our vision is to #endPKD. Donations fund necessary research that leads to more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for PKD.

1 Comment

  1. Natalie Byrd

    This research makes me happy! I have lost my Mom and my sister from complications of pkd. My son and I both have it too. We are hoping for a cure. This sounds promising at least for him.


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