Division of Nephrology
Research interests: water and electrolyte homeostasis, regulation of ion channel function and their role in the development of cardiorenal diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes.
Dr. Daria Ilatovskaya moved to the Division of Nephrology at MUSC as an Assistant Professor in December 2017 from the Medical College of Wisconsin (Department of Physiology), where she had pursued her postdoctoral training and early faculty years under mentorship of Prof. Alexander Staruschenko. Dr. Ilatovskaya studies the role of electrolyte transport in control of cardiorenal function and blood pressure, which is a highly clinically relevant problem.
The number of people living with hypertension is predicted to be 1.56 billion worldwide by the year 2025. In the US alone in 2011 to 2012, about a third of all people over the age of 20 were diagnosed with high blood pressure and took medications to help control it. CDC reported that total costs associated with high blood pressure in 2011 in the US were $46 billion. Dr. Ilatovskaya’s research is aimed at advancing our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie kidney disease and facilitating faster translation of the science knowledge into clinics.
Specifically, Dr. Ilatovskaya’s laboratory is investigating the regulation of ion channels and transporters in the hormonal aspect of salt-sensitive hypertension and polycystic kidney disease. The lab uses both in vivo and in vitro techniques to investigate these phenomena using an integrative approach that includes studies on the molecular, cellular and whole organism levels. In addition to routine molecular biology techniques, the lab specializes in unique methods, such as single-channel electrophysiology on freshly isolated nephron segments, state-of-the-art confocal and epifluorescence microscopy, chronic blood pressure monitoring and other sophisticated techniques.
Current and Past Lab Members
Iuliia Polina, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow (December 2017 - Present)
Dr. Polina is a uniquely skilled postdoctoral scholar; she received a Ph.D. in Physiology at the Sechenov Institute in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Before moving to MUSC Iuliia has been trained in cardiac physiology at the Ohio State University, and the Dalhousie University (Canada). Her research interests are primarily focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying such diseases as hypertension and diabetes. Iuliia decided to join Ilatovskaya lab in 2017 to broaden her understanding of hypertension from the renal physiology perspective. Iuliia believes that "any disease should be studied at multiple levels, and it is integration of complex systems that will eventually help us find the best treatments."
Mark Domondon, BSc - Research Specialist (May 2018 - Present)
Mark is from Buffalo, New York and has recently graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Bio-engineering. Mark joined Dr. Ilatovskaya's lab as a research technician in May, 2018 "to gain more experience in the research field, as well as to further expand my knowledge of research applied to medicine."
Mikhail Fomin, BSc - Master's Student (November 2018 - Present)
Mikhail is currently pursuing an M.S. degree in Biomedical Sciences at the MUSC Graduate School; he is a South Carolina local and received his BS in Biological Sciences from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He especially enjoys the translational impact of the research in the lab as well as a large variety of methods used. Mikhail joined the lab in November 2018, and his current thesis project is devoted to the hormonal aspects of salt-sensitive hypertension development.
Anastasia Sudarikova, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Trainee (November 2018 - March 2019)
Anastasia is a short-term postdoctoral fellow who came from St. Petersburg, Russia in November, 2018 to learn new methodologies and experience the American style of work and life. She is a very skilled and experienced patch-clamp electrophysiologist and has a PhD in cellular biology. Her research interests, which focus on the Epithelial Sodium Channels (ENaCs), are well in line with the lab objectives, we are very happy to have her and look forward to successfully working together on ENaCs role renal sodium handling.
Elizaveta (Lisa) Kurashkina - Summer Undergraduate Student (June - September 2018)
Lisa is a summer exchange student from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Her visit to MUSC is supported by her home institution, the Saint Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical University, where she is working on a BSc thesis in bioengineering. In addition, back home Lisa is doing basic science research at the Institute of Experimental Medicine. Here is what Lisa says about her internship at MUSC: "I'm here to improve and prove myself; to become a better student, scientist, researcher and person. Carpe diem!"
Regina Sultanova - Summer Undergraduate Student (June - September 2018)
Regina came to MUSC as a summer intern from Saint Petersburg, Russia. She is a senior at the Saint Petersburg State Chemical Pharmaceutical University and will defend her BS thesis in 2019. In Saint Petersburg Regina is doing research comparing stress-protective activity of the native forms of bovine and human lactoferrins. Regina explains that she came to MUSC "seeking to experience cutting edge translational science and meet new people. All knowledge that I will receive here will be extremely useful in my future where I see myself as a basic scientist."
Jean Pinto - Summer High School Student (June - July 2018)
Jean is a student from the South Carolina Governor's School of Science and Mathematics in Hartsville, South Carolina. Jean aspires to eventually have a career in science or medicine, he joined Dr. Ilatovskaya's lab in June, 2018 in order to gain "exposure into research done in an actual wet laboratory and to expand knowledge in medicine."