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About the Lab

Our laboratory is jointly supported by the Endocrine and Nephrology Divisions of the Department of Medicine. Our studies on metabolism and renal disease extend naturally from this collaboration and span epidemiologic, physiologic, and experimental approaches, with an emphasis on liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. Current projects include: 1.) discovery of metabolite predictors of incident Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), CKD progression, and cardiovascular outcomes in well-characterized clinical cohorts, 2.) characterization of novel renal metabolic functions using samples acquired with invasive catheterization, and 3.) animal and cell-based studies to test the functional effects of select metabolites and metabolic pathways. We are interested both in metabolites that are important locally for maintaining kidney cell health as well as metabolites that may have a systemic role in metabolism, e.g. in phosphate homeostasis.


Rhee EP, Souza A, Farrell L, Pollak MR, Lewis GD, Steele DJ, Thadhani R, Clish CB, Greka A, Gerszten RE. Metabolite Profiling Identifies Markers of Uremia. J Am Soc Nephrol 2010; 32(6):1041-51.
Rhee EP, Cheng S, Larson MG, Walford GA, Lewis GD, McCabe E, Yang E, Farrell L, Fox CS, O’Donnell CJ, Carr SA, Vasan RS, Florez JC, Clish CB, Wang TJ, Gerszten RE. Lipid Profiling Identifies a Triacylglycerol Signature of Insulin Resistance and Improves Diabetes Prediction in Humans. J Clin Invest 2011; 121(4):1402-11.
Rhee EP, Clish CB, Ghorbani A, Larson MG, Elmariah S, McCabe E, Yang Q, Cheng S, Pierce K, Deik A, Souza AL, Farrell L, Domos C, Yeh RW, Palacios I, Rosenfield K, Vasan RS, Florez JC, Wang TJ, Fox CS, Gerszten RE. A Combined Epidemiologic and Metabolomic Approach Improves Chronic Kidney Disease Prediction. J Am Soc Nephrol 2013; 24(8):1330-8.
Rhee EP,* Ho JE,* Chen MH,* Shen D, Cheng S, Larson MG, Ghorbani A, Shi X, Helenius IT, O’Donnell CJ, Souza AL, Deik A, Pierce KA, Bullock K, Walford GA, Vasan RS, Florez JC, Clish CB, Yeh JR, Wang TJ, Gerszten RE. A Genome-Wide Association Study of the Human Metabolome in a Community Based Cohort. Cell Metab 2013; 18(1):130-43. *equal contribution
Kalim S, Clish CB, Wenger J, Elmariah S, Yeh RW, Deferio J, Pierce K, Deik A, Gerszten RE, Thadhani R, Rhee EP. A plasma long-chain acylcarnitine predicts cardiovascular mortality in incident dialysis patients. J Am Heart Assoc 2013; 2(6):e000542
Rhee EP,* Yang Q,* Yu B, Liu X, Cheng S, Deik A, Pierce KA, Bullock K, Ho JE, Levy D, Florez JC, Kathiresan S, Larson MG, Vasan RS, Clish CB, Wang TJ, Boerwinkle E, O’Donnell CJ, Gerszten RE. An exome array study of the plasma metabolome. Nat Commun 2016 Jul25; 7:12360.  *equal contribution
Kim WD, Deik A, Gonzalez C, Gonzalez ME, Fu F, Ferrari M, Churchhouse CL, Florez JC, Jacobs SBR, Clish CB, Rhee EP. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Desaturation is a Mechanism for Glycolytic NAD+ Recycling.  Cell Metab 2019; 29(4):856-870.
Simic P, Kim WD, Zhou W, Pierce KA, Chang W, Sykes DB, Aziz NB, Elmariah S, Ngo D, Pajevic PD, Govea N, Kestenbaum BR, de Boer IH, Cheng Z, Christov M, Chun J, Leaf DE, Waikar SS, Tager AM, Gerszten RE, Thadhani RI, Clish CB, Jüppner H, Wein MW, Rhee EP. Glycerol-3-phosphate is a FGF23 regulator derived from the injured kidney. J Clin Invest 2020; 130(3):1513-1526.

Ngo D, Wen D, Gao Y, Keyes MJ, Drury ER, Katz DH, Benson MD, Sinha S, Shen D, Farrell LA, Peterson BD, Friedman DJ, Elmariah S, Young BA, Smith JG, Yang Q, Vasan RS, Larson MG, Correa A, Humphreys BD, Wang TJ, Pollak MR, Wilson JG, Gerszten RE, Rhee EP. Circulating testican-2 is a podocyte-derived marker of kidney health. Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A. 2020;117(40):25026-25035.