Hypertension is often symptomless despite its affected millions of people. On this episode, we will discuss the role of the kidney in hypertension, define hypertension and discuss how pre-term births might contribute to this often silent disease. Treatments will also be reviewed.

Guest Panelists

John Bertram obtained his BSc (Honours) from the University of Western Australia and his PhD from Flinders University. Following postdoctoral training at the University of Washington in Seattle, he accepted an academic position at the University of Melbourne. In 1998, he was appointed Head of the Department of Anatomy (now Anatomy and Developmental Biology) at Monash University and held that position until 2016. In 2015, he was awarded a DSc by Monash University. He is currently Head of the Kidney Developmental Programming and Disease Research Group in the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology.

John’s research focuses on kidney development and the adult health consequences of suboptimal kidney development, specifically chronic kidney disease and hypertension. His group has conducted the most comprehensive study to date on human nephron (glomerular) number and size and associations with birth weight, race, gender, age, adult body weight, hypertension and renal pathology. In animal studies he has described the effects of a range of perturbations to the feto-maternal environment (including low protein diet, high fat diet, glucocorticoid exposure, maternal diabetes, maternal alcohol) on kidney development and adult health. He has published more than 260 original papers, review articles and book chapters.

An integrative cardiovascular and renal physiologist Prof Katherine Denton’s goal is to improve cardiovascular health for men and women across their lifespan. Her work focuses on the integrative control of arterial pressure, with a strong emphasis on the contribution of the kidney. Current work focuses on the developmental origins of cardiovascular disease; Understanding sex-differences in the regulation of blood pressure; and investigates the efficacy and safety of catheter-based renal denervation, an emerging treatment for hypertension.

The challenges of managing and preventing the development of hypertension are increasing as it is predicted that 60% of the population will be hypertensive by 2025. Greater understanding of the mechanisms causing increased blood pressure, and identification of new therapies to prevent hypertensive tissue injury are pivotal in meeting this challenge.

Prof Denton has recently recieved the Harriet Dustan Award from the American Heart Association, 2017 and the International Society of Hypertension Excellence Award for hypertension research in women, 2018.

Jamie Carey is a junior doctor with a keen interest in mental health and education. His experience ranges across medical, surgical and psychiatric teams where I have developed a collaborative, patient centred approach to care. This year, he has expanded his teaching skills by working as an Assistant Lecturer with the innovative team at the Centre for Human Anatomy Education at Monash University.

Topics Covered

  • Hypertension
  • Factors contributing and treatments of hypertension
  • Role of kidney in hypertension
  • Role of nephron and pre-term birth impacts on kidney

Links to related resources

Episode 9: Hypertension and the Kidney
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