Rajiv Kumar, M.D., studies the structure and function of hormones and signaling peptides and receptors.
Dr. Kumar's group has identified novel proteins — the "phosphatonins" — that control phosphate homeostasis and renal phosphate excretion. His primary focus is in determining the physiological role of these factors and the role of newly discovered intestinal phosphatonins.
In addition, Dr. Kumar and his colleagues are examining the:
- Structure and function of the calcium-sensing receptor, an important G-protein coupled receptor; the vitamin D-dependent calcium-binding proteins and other calcium-binding proteins, such as KChIP-3/DREAM; and the vitamin D receptor
- Metabolism and mechanism of action of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D
- Calcium pumps in osteoblastic cells, with the intent of finding the mechanism of mineralization in human and animal bone
- Physiology of vasopressin receptors
- Mechanism of action of polycystin, a protein mutation in polycystic kidney disease
Significance to patient care
Dr. Kumar's work is relevant to the pathogenesis and treatment of bone disease seen in patients with renal failure, osteoporosis and hypophosphatemia. He has carried out fundamental work on the mechanism of action of hormones regulating calcium metabolism and water balance.
His work also sheds light on how patients develop polycystic disease and impacts our understanding of mechanisms associated with pain.
- John Phillips Memorial Award (for outstanding work in clinical medicine, which includes all phases of clinical research or practice of medicine), American College of Physicians, 2012
- E.V. McCollum Award (for being a major creative force, actively generating new concepts in nutrition and personally seeing to the execution of studies testing the validity of these concepts), American Society for Nutrition, 2010
- Louis V. Avioli Founders Award (for fundamental contributions to the field of bone and mineral metabolism), American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 2008
- Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Journal of the American Society of Nephrology