Featured Scholar : Bonnie Blazer-Yost, Ph.D.
School of Science
Dr. Bonnie Blazer-Yost’s primary interest is in epithelial cell biology as it relates to ion transport. Recently she has been investigating treatments for polycystic kidney disease. These studies resulted from a serendipitous finding regarding the potential use of Pioglitazone, a commonly used diabetes drug, in polycystic kidney disease patients. This research has progressed from tissue culture, through preclinical animal models and is currently funded as an initial clinical trial in polycystic kidney disease patients.
Dr. Blazer-Yost and her team are also researching potential treatments for hydrocephalus or “water on the brain.” Hydrocephalus may develop as a consequence of trauma, infection, tumors, intracranial hemorrhage or as a result of a congenital birth defect. Elderly patients may suffer from a poorly understood and underdiagnosed form called “normal pressure hydrocephalus,” characterized by urinary incontinence, gait instability, and dementia. Post-traumatic hydrocephalus occurs as the result of traumatic brain injury. Regardless of the form, brain surgery is currently the only effective long-term treatment. Dr. Blazer-Yost and her collaborators recently obtained a three-year Department of Defense grant to conduct translational studies in animal models with a goal of developing a drug treatment for hydrocephalus.
Dr. Blazer-Yost’s work to treat polycystic kidney disease and hydrocephalus is another example of how IUPUI faculty are TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.