Valentina Kon, MD

Valentina Kon, MD

Professor of Pediatrics
Nephrology
Margaret T. and H. Laird Smith Chair
Nephrology
Doctors' Office Tower
2200 Children's Way
Room / Suite
10111
Nashville
Tennessee
37232-9560

Specialty
Nephrology, Pediatric
M.D.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1977
Internship
Internship, Pediatrics-Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT
Residency
Residency, Pediatrics-Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT
Fellowships
Fellowship, Pediatric Nephrology-Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Fellowship, Pediatrics-Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Fellowship, Research, Nephrology-Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Fellowship, Medicine (Nephrology)-Brigham and Women's Hospita, Boston, MA

Research Information

Research in the Kon lab has focused on exploring connections between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) especially on mechanisms underlying CKD-associated dysfunction in macrophage lipid handling and inflammatory function. This field has gained urgency because of strong epidemiologic evidence that individuals with any degree of renal dysfunction are at a tremendously increased risk for developing CVD. Our studies have established that even in the absence of long-standing CKD and concomitant risk factors, CKD in childhood causes specific lipoprotein abnormalities linked to maintenance of normal vascular function, including inflammatory responses in macrophages and production of adhesion molecules by endothelial cells. In more recent studies, we show that that kidneys are involved in lipoprotein homeostasis and that kidney disease modifies lipoprotein structure, composition, and function which in turn modulate cells in the renal parenchyma. We are especially interested in the role of renal lymphatic vessels which transport lipoproteins out of the interstitial compartment, and we propose are key mediators of the renal response to injury. The laboratory utilizes molecular approach, cellular physiology techniques, and genetically modified mouse models as well as rat models of renal injury to understand how lymphatic vessels affect kidney disease.