Faculty Directory

Jennifer Gooch, PhD

Jennifer Gooch, PhD headshot

Assistant Professor

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PHONE: 404-727-1797



Dr. Gooch’s primary areas of interest are the mechanisms of specificity of signal transduction pathways. She uses a combination of in vitro molecular biology techniques, and in vivo models of disease, development, and genetic manipulation, to identify mechanisms that contribute to cell- and tissue-specific biologic processes. Research in Dr. Gooch’s laboratory is focused on the role of calcineurin phosphatase in normal and disease processes in the kidney. Calcineurin is a calcium-dependent, serine/threonine phosphatase that is implicated in the signal transduction pathways of a number of factors important in the kidney, including angiotensin II, TGF?, and IGF-I. However, calcineurin is also the target of inhibition of a group of drugs known to cause nephrotoxicity – cyclosporin A (CsA) is the most widely-used.

There are three primary areas of investigation in Dr Gooch’s laboratory. First, Dr. Gooch is interested in the role of calcineurin in cell hypertrophy and matrix induction in the diabetic kidney. As a downstream target of TGFbeta and IGF-I, calcineurin is an important signaling molecule in pathways known to be involved in diabetes. Research in the lab continues to look at mechanisms of matrix induction and cellular hypertrophy that involve calcineurin. Next, Dr. Gooch is interested in how inhibition of calcineurin causes nephrotoxicity. Research methods to address this include mice that lack the alpha or beta isoform of the catalytic subunit of calcineurin. In addition, in vitro experiments are underway to determine how the two isoforms mediate different cellular events and to understand the unique action of the alpha isoform. Finally, Dr. Gooch is interested in how calcineurin activity changes in transplant patients over time. In collaboration with the Emory Transplant Center, Dr. Gooch is utilizing a newly developed calcineurin assay to measure enzyme activity in transplant patients.

Research Center(s)