Dr. Catherine Hathaway

Dr. Catherine Hathaway 2012-2014

Dr. Cat Hathaway

Combined Nephrology & Geriatrics Medicine Fellowship

I am currently a second year clinical fellow in Nephrology and Hypertension as well as Geriatric Medicine at UNC, Chapel Hill, an ABIM approved combined fellowship.  I completed my undergraduate training at Davidson College, graduating with a BS in biology. Subsequently I attended UNC School of Medicine, where I graduated in 2007 with distinction and was inducted into the AOA Honors Medical Society as a junior member. I also received several merit scholarships based on my academic performance.

During my medical school training I was selected to participate in the Distinguished Medical Scholars program, which subsequently became the Howard Holderness Fellowship. In addition to participating in monthly seminars that were designed to foster critical thinking I spent a year between my third and fourth year working in the lab under Masao Kakoki and Oliver Smithies (Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2007).  During that year with Drs. Kakoki and Smithies, I participated in basic science research that centered on working with murine models of diabetic nephropathy, and ultimately found that bradykinin b2 receptor knockouts combined with Akita diabetic mice resulted in an aging phenotype that included increased senescence, oxidative stress, and nephropathy. I began work on my own transgenic mouse, an Elmo1 over expressed and under expressed transgenic mouse with the goal of identifying if this gene is involved in genetic susceptibility of developing diabetic nephropathy.

After graduating medical school in 2007 I began my Internal Medicine Residency at UNC Hospitals.  During residency I was awarded several honors, including the David A Ontjes Award intern year, the Ambulatory Care Award as well as the Robert L Ney award during my senior year. Following residency I began a combined fellowship at UNC specializing in Nephrology and Hypertension as well as Geriatric Medicine. I have now completed my clinical year of Nephrology and will complete my clinical year in Geriatric Medicine July of 2012. At that time I will begin two years of dedicated research, during which 75% of my time will be involved in basic science research.

I am in a unique position to have training in both Nephrology and Geriatric Medicine, which gives me a unique background and perspective to research the aging kidney.  My research objectives will revolve around further characterizing the genes that are involved in aging, and specifically that lead to nephropathy and chronic kidney disease. There are several known models of aging, including the genes sirt1, IGF1, and klotho/FGF23. With the mouse models that I already will have access to while working in Masao Kakoki and Oliver Smithies lab, I will be able to measure expression of these known aging related genes to determine if the aging phenotypes that have been identified in these mice are novel pathways or if they are an extension of the already known pathways. I plan to look at bradykinin B1/B2 (-/-) akita double mutants, TGF beta high and low expression mutants, ACE high and low expression mutants, and endothelin high and low mutants to identify how these genes are involved in the aging process, and specifically the development of nephropathy and chronic kidney disease.

During the next two years I will be working in the lab to further evaluate these mouse models as well as to continue work on my prior project of evaluating the role Elmo1 may play in predisposing to diabetic nephropathy. As part of my training I am applying for a prestigious workshop being offered by Vanderbilt that is open to 10 students during August 2012. This workshop is a 5 day course that is designed to teach proper mouse handling techniques as well as surgical models for acute kidney injury.  Then, once I have further characterized the above mouse models and evaluated how they fit into the aging pathways, I will use these mouse models to evaluate acute kidney injury and hopefully identify therapies that could help ameliorate acute and chronic kidney injury. This is of utmost importance because the fastest growing group of patients reaching advanced CKD and ESRD is the population greater than 65 years of age. They are also the most susceptible to developing acute kidney injury.  My goal is to identify ways to protect against kidney injury and development of chronic kidney disease through better understanding of the genes that are involved in the aging process.