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Heddwen Brooks

Heddwen Brooks
Chair, Graduate Program in Physiological Sciences

Research interests: Hypertension, Kidney Disease, Inflammation and Menopause, Sex Differences in Disease

Graduation May 2015 Yang Gao, PhD and Austen Thompson, MS


Kidney and Diabetes Research in the Brooks Lab

Research Interests
Our laboratory interests focus on how kidney damage progresses in post-menopausal hypertension, metabolic syndrome, lithium-induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus and polycystic kidney disease (PKD). 

Research Projects
1) Sex Differences in Hypertension and the Role of the Immune System We are studying how sex differences impact the onset of hypertension, focusing on the increased risk for high blood pressure that occurs as women age. Specifically we are identifying the role that estrogen plays on the immune system, examining how T cell populations are activated during hypertension and how this influences renal salt and water transport, and the regulation of extracellular fluid balance (blood pressure).

2) Vasopressin and Renal Cell Proliferation:  In Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)  and in lithium-induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI), epithelial cells of the kidney proliferate and renal function is reduced. Vasopressin receptor pathways have been targeted as pharmacological interventions for PKD and they reduce cyst formation and proliferation. We are interested in the mechanisms that trigger collecting ducts to proliferate. We use in vivo and in vitro models to study renal cell proliferative pathways.


Lab Members

Jill Romero-Aleshire MS, Assistant Scientific Investigator

Nathaniel Husband, MS Student, Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program

Josh Ulhorn, PhD Student, Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program

Clayton Moralez, UA Physiology Undergraduate Program, STEP-UP Fellow

Caitlin Moffet, UA BME Undergraduate Program


Recent Past Members:

Yang Gao, PhD 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow University of Utah, Dr Don Kohan

Austen Thompson, MS 2015, MD/PhD Student, University of Arizona College of Medicine

Dennis Pollow, PhD 2016, Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSD, Dr Meike Sander


Program Affiliations:

  • Physiological Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering

MRB Room 413

PO Box 245041
Tucson, AZ 85724

(520) 626-7702






Last updated 20 Feb 2017