Ron Korstanje

Biosketch

Ron Korstanje received his MSc in Molecular Biology at Leiden University and his PhD in Genetics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, working on the genetics of atherosclerosis. He continued this work as a postdoctoral fellow with Beverly Paigen at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor. He moved back to the Netherlands in 2004 to study the genetics of kidney disease at the University Medical Center Groningen, but after a few years decided to return to Bar Harbor.

Ron is now an associate professor at The Jackson Laboratory where his main focus is on the aging kidney. He is co-director of the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. Ron has published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and several book chapters, including a chapter in the new edition of the Handbook of the Biology of Aging.

Research Interests

The goal of our lab is to identify key genetic factors that contribute to the decline of function and damage in the aging kidney, to learn their role in the kidney, and to understand why variations of these factors lead to different outcomes. We do this by studying the natural genetic variation in mice and their association with different kidney phenotypes. Once causal genes are identified, we develop precision disease models for further study of the gene and to develop therapeutics that will slow down the decline of kidney function and development of disease.

An untapped resource is histopathology. By applying image analysis and machine learning on renal sections we can quantify histological features and use these as phenotypes in our genetic analyses to identify the genes that are driving early changes in the kidney that lead to disease.

We also study black bears and tenrecs to understand which genes and mechanisms are involved in these species that allow them to recover from kidney damage after hibernation. We apply this knowledge to develop therapies that can be used in human kidney patients.

Student Opportunities

The goal of our lab is to identify key genetic factors that contribute to the decline of function and damage in the aging kidney, to learn their role in the kidney, and to understand why variations of these factors lead to different outcomes. We do this by studying the natural genetic variation in mice and their association with different kidney phenotypes. Once causal genes are identified, we develop precision disease models for further study of the gene and to develop therapeutics that will slow down the decline of kidney function and development of disease.

An untapped resource is histopathology. By applying image analysis and machine learning on renal sections we can quantify histological features and use these as phenotypes in our genetic analyses to identify the genes that are driving early changes in the kidney that lead to disease.

We also study black bears and tenrecs to understand which genes and mechanisms are involved in these species that allow them to recover from kidney damage after hibernation. We apply this knowledge to develop therapies that can be used in human kidney patients

Selected Publications

  • De Groot T, Ebert LK, Christensen B, Andralojc K, Cheval L, Doucet A, Mao C, Baumgarten R, Low BE, Sandhoff R, Wiles MV, Deen PMT, Korstanje R (2019) Identification of Acer2 as a first susceptibility gene for lithium-induced NDI in mice. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in press.
  • Sheehan S, Mawe S, Cianciolo RE, Korstanje R, Mahoney JM (2019) Detection and classification of novel renal histological phenotypes using deep neural networks. American Journal of Pathology. Pii: S0002-9440(19)30298-06.
  • Srivastava A, Kumar Sarsani V, Fiddes I, Sheehan SM, Seger RL, Barter ME, Neptune-Bear S, Lindqvist C, Brody LC, Mullikin JC, Korstanje (2019) Genome assembly and gene expression in the American black bear provides new insights into the renal response to hibernation. DNA Research 26(1):37-44.
  • Sheehan S and Korstanje R (2018) Automatic glomerular identification and quantification of histological phenotypes using image analysis and machine learning. American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology 315(6):F1644-F1651.
  • Backer G, Eddy S, Sheehan SM, Takemon Y, Reznichenko A, Savage HS, Low BE, Wiles MV, Kretzler M, Korstanje R (2018) FAR2 is associated with kidney disease in mice and humans. Physiological Genomics 50(8):543-552.
  • Sutphin GL, Backer G, Sheehan S, Bean S, Corban C, Liu T, Peters MJ, van Meurs JBJ, Murabito JM, Johnson AD, Korstanje R (2017) C. elegans Orthologs of Human Genes Differentially Expressed with Age are Enriched for Determinants of Longevity. Aging Cell 16(4):672-682.
  • Sutphin GL, Mahoney JM, Sheppard K, Walton DO, Korstanje R (2016) WORMHOLE: Novel Least Diverged Ortholog Prediction through Machine Learning. PLoS Computational Biology 12(11):e1005182.
  • Korstanje R, Deutsch K, Bolanos-Palmieri P, Hanke N, Schroder P, Staggs L,  Bräsen JH, Roberts ISD, Sheehan S, Savage H, Haller H, Schiffer M (2016) Loss of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase in zebrafish and mice causes proteinuria. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 27(11):3271-3277.