The research of LaTonya J. Hickson, M.D., focuses on the study of patient-important outcomes such as hospitalizations, death, kidney function recovery and kidney failure in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Dr. Hickson's research mission is to improve the lives of patients with kidney disease through innovative research.
- Stem cell therapy. Dr. Hickson's current research on stem cell therapy for chronic kidney disease is geared toward prompt translation to clinical settings.
- Dialysis therapy. She is also particularly interested in the experiences of patients when they begin chronic dialysis therapy (incident dialysis patients). The transition into a life requiring chronic dialysis is often accompanied by patient uncertainties about kidney function recovery and hospitalizations, and for some patients the risk of death is high. Dr. Hickson's research focuses on how to predict these events and improve this transition period for patients.
- Predictive factors in kidney disease. Dr. Hickson has recently examined factors that predict the development of end-stage kidney disease and kidney function recovery, as well as factors that predict important events such as hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and death among patients who undergo dialysis.
- Kidney transplantation, waiting list candidacy and recurrent glomerular disease. Dr. Hickson's prior studies examined the kidney transplant waiting list population and factors that relate to reduced survival while waiting for a kidney transplant. In addition, she studied a form of glomerulonephritis known as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which may recur after kidney transplantation.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Hickson's goal is to improve the lives of patients with kidney disease through innovative research. Her work helps identify factors that lead to kidney function recovery, hospitalization, frequent hospital readmissions and death among patients receiving chronic dialysis.
Dr. Hickson is also studying stem cells in patients with chronic kidney disease. In the near future, she hopes to conduct clinical therapeutic trials using stem cells to slow the progression of kidney failure.
- Member, Dialysis Advisory Group, American Society of Nephrology, 2014-2017