Published on February 23, 2021
Venkata Vivek Reddy Palicharla, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
How did you first get involved in PKD research?
Vivek: I started my postdoc career with an interest in understanding the role of primary cilium in development and disease. Our lab initially showed that Tulp3 plays a crucial role in regulating ciliary trafficking of Polycystin proteins PC1/2, the products of PKD1/2, the causative genes of PKD. That’s when I started working on Tulp3 to understand more about its role in PKD.
What are you working on currently?
Vivek: I’m currently working on understanding the role of Tulp3 mediated ciliary trafficking of multiple cystoproteins in regulating PKD. Tulp3 is a promising drug target for inhibiting kidney cystogenesis as knocking out Tulp3 significantly inhibited Pkd1 loss mediated cystogenesis in mice. I’m trying to find chemical compounds that can inhibit the interaction between Tulp3 and its cargoes. I’d like to test the identified chemical compounds for their role in inhibiting cystogenesis in inducible PKD mouse models.
What would you like the patient community to know about your research?
Vivek: My research is aimed at identifying chemical compounds that can inhibit polycystic kidney disease in inducible mouse models. The ultimate goal of my research is to provide novel and efficient drug candidates for treating PKD patients.
Do you have a personal connection to PKD?
Vivek: Although I don’t have a personal connection to PKD, I understand the importance of developing novel therapeutics for treating PKD patients.
What excites you most about this research?
Vivek: The most exciting part of my research is that I’m going to perform a screen for chemical compounds that can potentially inhibit cystogenesis.
What are some of your personal interests outside of research?
Vivek: Playing sports and traveling are my interests outside the lab.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Vivek: I’d like to thank the PKD Foundation for supporting my research.
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.