Kebin Hu, MD, PhD

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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    Dr. Kebin Hu is the director of nephrology research in the Department of Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine.

    Dr. Hu's laboratory is interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of tissue fibrogenesis and inflammation, identifying novel signal mediators and developing therapeutic strategies for the treatment of fibrotic or inflammatory diseases.

    The hallmark of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is renal interstitial fibrosis and inflammation, which is characterized by proliferation and activation of interstitial cells, florid infiltrations, extensive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) components and the eventual destruction of normal kidney structure. Members of plasminogen activator system including tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) are the key regulators in the homeostasis of ECM. In addition to its protease activities, Dr. Hu's lab has demonstrated that tPA is actually a cytokine promoting renal fibrosis and inflammation through its receptors-mediated activation of different cascades of intracellular signal transduction.

    With the support of grants from federal, state and foundation sources, Dr. Hu's laboratory is currently utilizing integral in vivo and in vitro approaches to:

    • define novel signal mechanism underlying p90RSK-mediated kidney fibrosis and inflammation;
    • elucidate novel role and signaling of cell-cell communications in kidney fibrosis and inflammation;
    • define novel role of FOXO family members, as well as underlying mechanism, in renal fibrogenesis; and
    • develop novel and specific therapeutics targeting against CKD.

    Teaching and educational interests

    Dr. Kebin Hu is a faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program at Penn State College of Medicine. He is actively involved in small-group education and mentoring of junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and visiting scholars.

    Professional information

    Dr. Kebin Hu is actively involved in research outreach activities and provides services to the larger scientific communities. Currently, he is a Committee Member for American Heart Association Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease (KCVD), an Associate Editor for scientific journal Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, and Editorial Board member for peer-reviewed journals including Frontiers in Immunology, Cancers, and Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark, etc. Dr. Hu regularly reviews grant applications for national and international funding agencies, such as National Institutes of Health and Medical Research Council of United Kingdom, as well as various Foundations.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, Nanjing University Medical School

    … → 2001

    MD, Nanjing University Medical School

    … → 1997

    External positions

    Reviewer, NIH Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative, National Institutes of Health

    2022 → …

    Reviewer, NIH Research Initiative on Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC), National Heart and Lung and Blood Institute

    2021 → …

    Member, Special Emphasis Panel, George M. O'Brien Kidney Research Core Centers Program, NIDDK

    2017 → …

    Ad Hoc Member, Pathobiology of Kidney Disease Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, NIH

    2017 → …

    Member, Early Career Reviewer Program, Center for Scientific Review, NIH



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