Mitchell 400KidneyCure, the American Society of Nephrology Foundation, awarded Tanecia Mitchell, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Urology, the 2021 Oxalosis & Hyperoxaluria Foundation-KidneyCure Research Scholar Grant.

The grant, $100,000 per year for two years, will fund Mitchell’s research project, “The Impact of Crystalluria on Immunity during Kidney Stone Formation.”

Mitchell looks to understand how dietary oxalate can promote crystalluria and alter metabolism in immune cells, and how these responses can influence kidney stone risk.

“We will evaluate whether oxalate alters nanocrystalluria and macrophage function using human translational studies and in vitro experimental models. The impact of this research will help us understand how oxalate can influence immunity, and test strategies to assess stone risk and/or modulate macrophage immunometabolism in calcium oxalate kidney stone disease,” said Mitchell.

She hopes her research will provide relevant scientific information to help understand, prevent, and treat kidney stone formation.

Mitchell’s lab developed a novel method to detect and quantify nanocrystalluria using NanoSight Technology, a tool that measures nanoparticles in biological samples.

“The ability to enumerate urinary crystals, the precursors to kidney stones, could be a useful predictive marker for kidney stone disease. Ideally, this could help monitor a patient’s risk for a kidney stone and help assess their response to therapy,” said Mitchell.