2018 DIG Research Project | “The Role of Dendritic Cells in Acute Kidney Injury and Renal Healing”
Jamie Privratsky, MD, PhD, is an intensive care physician scientist within Duke Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center with specialty board certifications in anesthesiology and critical care medicine from the American Board of Anesthesiology and in advanced perioperative echocardiography from the National Board of Echocardiography. Dr. Privratsky is a member of Duke Anesthesiology’s Critical Care Medicine Division where he practices as an intensivist in the critical care unit at Duke Regional Hospital and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Duke University Hospital. He also practices anesthesiology in the General, Vascular and Transplant Anesthesia Division within the department at Duke University Hospital. Dr. Privratsky is an active member of several national and international societies, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) and the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists. He also is a member of and participates in the planning of the Early-Stage Anesthesiology Scholars (eSAS) meeting, which is held each year in conjunction with the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA) and IARS annual meetings. Nationally, he has been invited to lectures and meetings to present on topics such as acute kidney injury (AKI), anesthetic management in critical care cases, genetic contributions to post-cardiac surgery AKI, and lung protective ventilation in the operation room. He has published numerous peer-reviewed publications and is a co-author on a chapter in the widely read Clinical Anesthesia, 8th Edition, edited by Paul Barash.
Dr. Privratsky is originally from Dickinson, North Dakota. As an undergraduate, he attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks where he majored in clinical laboratory science. During his time at the University of North Dakota, he first participated in research where he studied the effects of diabetes and oxidative stress on the cardiovascular system. His work there resulted in several publications, including a first-author publication in Hypertension. He was accepted in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through strong mentorship, he established a solid foundation for scientific pursuit and became interested in mechanisms of inflammation and modulation of the immune system. His graduate work resulted in a pre-doctoral fellowship grant from the American Heart Association, several first author publications and review papers, and he was awarded the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award at his doctoral graduation. He then returned to medical school, where he was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society as a third-year medical student. After medical school, Dr. Privratsky completed his transitional year internship at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee and then entered Duke Anesthesiology’s Academic Career Enrichment Scholars (ACES) Program where he completed his anesthesiology residency training and participated in research. During residency training, he was an academic chief resident. He went on to pursue critical care medicine and advance perioperative echocardiography fellowship training at Duke University. After fellowship, he joined Duke Anesthesiology faculty where he continues to pursue research and practice as a physician-scientist in critical care medicine and anesthesiology.
Dr. Privratsky’s research interests involve investigating strategies to treat acute kidney injury (AKI) and prevent its transition to chronic kidney disease and remote organ failure. AKI dramatically increases morbidity and mortality and is one of the most common forms of organ failure in perioperative and critically ill patients. Unresolved AKI leads to ongoing renal injury, fibrosis and subsequent chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is a major risk factor for future cardiovascular events. To date, therapeutic modalities to treat AKI and prevent its long-term effects do not exist. One promising therapeutic approach is to modulate the functions of immune cells that accumulate in the injured kidney and orchestrate injury or repair of renal cells. With his interest and background in inflammation and immunology, Dr. Privratsky’s long-term career goal is to develop targeted immunomodulatory therapies for AKI to prevent its transition to CKD and to limit remote organ failure. Currently, he studies mechanisms of injury and repair in mouse models of AKI. He uses a variety of transgenic mice in order to explore the mechanisms by which cytokines, chemokines, and specific immune cells modulate kidney injury and remote organ dysfunction.
DREAM Innovation Grants (DIG) support innovative high-risk and potentially high-reward investigations to accelerate anesthesia and pain management research and are made possible through Duke Anesthesiology’s Duke DREAM Campaign. Dr. Privratsky is excited to have received a 2018 DIG to further pursue studies examining the role of dendritic cells in renal injury and repair. Dendritic cells are supreme antigen presenting cells that coordinate innate and adaptive immunity; however, their role in modulating renal injury and healing following AKI is unclear. In this application, Dr. Privratsky proposes to examine the effects of dendritic cell deletion and activation in two clinically relevant models of AKI: ischemia-reperfusion injury and septic AKI. The work will be performed under the guidance of a multidisciplinary team of mentors and collaborators. He will conduct his studies in the laboratory of his primary mentor, Dr. Steven Crowley, a nephrologist with expertise in renal injury and immunology. Collaborators include: Dr. Paul Wischmeyer (Duke Anesthesiology), a critical care physician-scientist with expertise in models of sepsis; Dr. Giana Hammer (Duke Immunology), an immunologist and dendritic cell expert; and Dr. G. Allen Johnson (Duke Radiology), an imaging expert.
These awarded DIG funds are expected to underpin the development of novel immunomodulatory therapies for AKI, which will have a significant positive impact on perioperative and critically ill patients. They will also provide seed funding to collect preliminary data for future grant applications that will allow Dr. Privratsky to establish himself as an independent investigator.