In a healthy person, the liver, kidney, intestines and lungs cleanse and detoxify the blood. During this process, the kidney holds onto-and the intestine absorbs-important electrolytes, including sodium, bicarbonate, phosphate and calcium. Dr. Robert Alexander, Canada Research Chair in Epithelial Transport Physiology, aims to better understand how this happens.
Abnormalities in the way some people’s kidneys hold onto electrolytes (or in how the intestine absorbs them) can result in a variety of common disorders, including hypertension, osteoporosis and kidney stones. Alexander and his research team are shedding light on the molecular details of these processes to support the development of new therapies to treat these disorders.