Dr Jiehan Chong

Profile

I obtained my MBBS from UCL Medical School in 2010, with an intercalated BSc in Medical Sciences with Human Genetics. In 2015, I moved on to research autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) at the University of Sheffield under Prof. Albert Ong, funded by an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship. I am currently undertaking PhD studies, looking at the structure and function of PC2, one of the proteins mutated in ADPKD, and PIEZO1, a mechanosensitive ion channel that may be associated with ADPKD. This work is supervised by Dr Antreas Kalli, Dr Jian Shi, and Professor David Beech, and funded by an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship.

Research interests

ADPKD is a devastating inherited disease, causing relentless growth of cysts in the kidneys, and often the liver. The most serious effect of these cysts is end-stage kidney failure, typically aged 50-60. Even before kidney failure occurs, the cysts can cause significant problems for patients including pain, infections, and abdominal distension. In addition, ADPKD is associated with cysts in other organs, and cardiovascular complications including heart valve problems and brain aneurysms.

Although the genes responsible for the bulk of ADPKD were identified over 20 years ago, our understanding of how these genes cause ADPKD remains limited. Recent developments in cryo-EM have provided high-resolution structures for the proteins produced by these genes, and modern advances in computing enable us to make use of these structures in molecular dynamic simulations on an unprecedented scale. My research combines these molecular dynamics simulations with a more traditional cellular electrophysiology approach to look at 2 proteins:

  • PC2, which is mutated in 15% of ADPKD, but has a close functional relationship with PC1, which is mutated in the other 85% of ADPKD.
  • PIEZO1, a mechanosensitive ion channel, which is a critical regulator of vascular development, and may have significant interaction with PC2.

Qualifications

  • BSc in Medical Sciences with Human Genetics (University College London, 2007)
  • MBBS (University College London, 2010)
  • MRCP (Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians, 2013)

Professional memberships

  • Renal Association (UK)
  • ERA-EDTA
  • American Society of Nephrology

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine