The Role of Macrophage IL-1 Signaling in Acute Kidney Injury and Recovery
Department of Anesthesiology
Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina
When Jamie Privratsky, MD, PhD, first entered the medical field, he wasn’t planning to do any research. Then, he was exposed to research as an undergraduate and he got the bug for investigation. This pursuit of research led him to win a 2017 Mentored Research Award for a study on “The Role of Macrophage IL-1 Signaling in Acute Kidney Injury and Recovery.” An Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the time and now an Associate Professor for one year, Dr. Privratsky set out to determine the role of myeloid cell interleukin-1 receptor signaling in acute kidney injury (AKI) and its transition to chronic kidney disease with his IMRA-funded study. What he discovered was not what he expected – instead of worsening AKI, the interleukin 1 receptor (and interleukin 1 signaling) was anti-inflammatory and limited kidney injury. Since this study, his research has evolved to focus on how metabolism regulates AKI. Additionally, with the protected time provided by IMRA, Dr. Privratsky was able to apply and successfully obtain a K08 award and then an R01. He strongly believes that the IMRA was instrumental in launching his career and supporting the expansion of his research career. Below, he explores his research path, how his initial IMRA study affected that path and his hopes for the future of the specialty.
1. What is your current position? How long have you been in this position? What was your role when you were first funded by IARS?
I’ve been an Associate Professor for one year. I was an Assistant Professor when I received IMRA.
2. What drew you to academic anesthesiology and to your particular area of research? Has your research subject area evolved since the award?
I was interested in inflammation and organ failure. Critical care medicine offered me the opportunity to pursue research in the interaction of inflammation and acute kidney injury research, which I was interested in and for which I received the award. My research has evolved somewhat in that I am now interested in how metabolism regulates AKI. And there is significant overlap between inflammation and metabolism.
3. What was the goal of your initial research project? Was it met?
The initial research project goal was to determine the role of myeloid cell interleukin-1 receptor signaling in AKI and its transition to chronic kidney disease. It was met but not how I originally hypothesized. The work is still ongoing but it seems that instead of worsening AKI, the interleukin 1 receptor (and interleukin 1 signaling) is anti-inflammatory and limits kidney injury. Stay tuned for more results…
4. How did your findings impact patient care?
Currently they have not, but I anticipate a day when we can specifically target myeloid cells and use therapeutic agents to precisely limit kidney injury.
5. How did your research impact the field of anesthesiology?
It has allowed me to further the anesthesiology presence in critical care research and specifically, critical care nephrology. Anesthesiology has a vital role to play in critical care research and needs to have more investigators at the forefront of the research.
6. How did the award affect your research/professional trajectory?
It gave me protected time to gather preliminary data for a K08 award, which I received. I now also have an R01 award, so the IMRA was instrumental in launching my career.
7. How do you feel about having received the IARS Mentored Research Award?
I am very grateful. Like I said, my career was launched by this award, so I will always be thankful that IARS and the reviewers believed in my potential and my project.
8. What is something that someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I am from North Dakota. I actually never planned to do research as part of a medical career, but after doing some undergraduate research, I caught the bug and now here I am!
9. What is your vision for the future of anesthesia research?
Become the leaders in critical care research, both at the basic science and clinical research level.