Internal Medicine

Award-winning dissertation points to new ways to control high blood pressure

Collier Hypetension

 High blood pressure affects one in every three adults in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. In 2009, 44.8 percent of male deaths and 55.2 percent of female deaths resulted from high blood pressure.

One way our bodies regulate blood pressure is through balancing the amount of sodium retained at the cellular level. Daniel Collier’s research at the University of Iowa focuses on understanding how a protein called the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) regulates sodium excretion and sodium reabsorption in the kidney collecting duct. Some hereditary forms of hypertension are due to defects in ENaC activity. Despite these high morbidity rates, the underlying cause of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is unknown in most patients.

Collier’s outstanding publishing record (eight articles in the last four years) and significant contributions to his research field led to winning the 2013 D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize in the biological and life sciences category. His dissertation is titled "Regulation of Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENaC) Activity by Extracellular Stimuli."

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