Wright State renal physiologist Clintoria Williams receives $2M award for chronic kidney disease research

Clintoria Williams, associate professor of neuroscience, cell biology and physiology, will further her research aimed at identifying novel therapeutic approaches effective for chronic kidney disease.

Wright State University renal physiologist Clintoria Williams, Ph.D., received a four-year, nearly $2 million award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, entitled “Mechanisms of Renoprotective Properties of Zinc in mouse models of CKD.”

Williams serves as an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology in the College of Science and Mathematics and the Boonshoft School of Medicine. She is also the director of the Small Animal Physiology Core.

The grant will allow Williams to further her research aimed at identifying novel therapeutic approaches effective for chronic kidney disease (CKD), filling critical gaps in therapeutic knowledge of zinc supplementation and mechanistic understanding of zinc-sensitive kidney pathways.

In previously published work, Williams provided evidence that disruption of zinc homeostasis promotes kidney damage suggesting that zinc repletion may slow the disease’s progression.

Up to 90% of chronic kidney disease patients exhibit hypertension, which accelerates kidney damage and kidney function decline. Despite many anti-hypertensive drugs, blood pressure often remains uncontrolled. In fact, chronic kidney disease is the strongest predictor of treatment-resistant hypertension.

At Wright State, she received a Faculty Award for Excellence in Early Career Achievement in 2020.

Williams, who was the recipient of the prestigious 2022 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar award through KidneyCure, earned international acclaim in 2019 when her research linking zinc deficiency to kidney dysfunction and high blood pressure was published by the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology and she was featured on the cover of The Physiologist Magazine.

She has also been recognized by the American Physiological Society with the Renal Section Young Investigator Excellence in Research Award in 2021.

In addition to her research, Williams is dedicated to bringing minority voices and perspectives to research and therapy development. She serves as president of Black in Physiology Inc. and on the Executive Board of the Dayton American Heart Association.

Williams received her Ph.D. in cellular and molecular physiology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where she began studying the relationship between zinc to diabetes.

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