The Espenshade Lab uses a multi-organismal and multidisciplinary approach to understand how eukaryotic cells measure insoluble lipids and dissolved gases. We have chosen cholesterol and oxygen as our model molecules, based on their essential roles in cell function and the importance of their proper homeostasis for human health.
The Michael Klag Lab focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Our research determined that the U.S. was experiencing an epidemic of end-stage kidney disease, pinpointed the incidence of kidney disease and published scholarship on risk factors for kidney disease such as race, diabetes and socioeconomic status. Our Precursors Study has shown that serum cholesterol measured at age 22 years is a predictor for midlife cardiovascular disease, a finding that has influenced policy about cholesterol screening in young adults. We also research health behaviors that lead to hypertension and study how differences in these behaviors affect urban and non-urban populations.
Hypertension in children is a major cause of disease, including early onset heart disease. Up to 25% of children who are overweight or obese have hypertension (high blood pressure), and children with obesity are at greater risk for having other cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and diabetes. The ReNEW Clinic at The Johns Hopkins University provides an innovative multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of obesity-related hypertension to help prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. This clinic is designed for children with elevated blood pressure (prehypertension and hypertension) and a BMI at or above the 85th percentile. Many children in this clinic are enrolled in a longitudinal registry to help researchers learn how to better care for children with multiple risk factors for heart disease.