Mark D. Okusa, MD, FASN

Mark D. Okusa, MD, FASN


John C. Buchanan Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Division Chief

MD: Medical College of Virginia
Residency: Medical College of Virginia
Fellowship: Yale University
Certification: Internal Medicine, Nephrology

434-924-2187 | Fax 434-924-5848 |

My laboratory is interested in innate and adaptive immunity in acute and chronic kidney injury. Dendritic cells play an early role in activation of lymphocytes through antigen presentation of peptides to T cells or glycolipids to natural killer T cells. Through an understanding of the mechanisms that participate in the early activation and modulation of tissue injury we have developed pharmacological and cell based approaches to block these pathways. We use a variety of molecular, cell biological and immunological methods and in vivo models in our studies.

Kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury: In vivo studies are aimed at determining the contribution of immune cells to ischemia-reperfusion injury and therapeutic strategies to reduce injury following acute kidney injury with the ultimate goal of bringing novel compounds to clinical trials. Current studies target adenosine 2A receptors and sphingosine 1 phosphate receptors as potential therapeutic approaches to block inflammation and tissue injury. These studies have led to a better understanding of the mechanisms of T cell activation by ischemia-reperfusion and tolerance induction by adenosine 2A compounds.

Diabetic nephropathy: Our approach is to understand the immune mechanisms of injury in diabetic nephropathy and use novel compounds to reduce functional and morphological consequences of diabetic nephropathy.

Additional information may be found at Dr. Okusa's Lab site.

PubMed Search for articles by faculty member »

Okusa MD, Davenport A. Reading between the (guide)lines - the KDIGO practice guideline on acute kidney injury in the individual patient. Kidney Int. 2013 Sep 25. doi: 10.1038/ki.2013.378. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24067436.

Bonventre JV, Basile D, Liu KD, McKay D, Molitoris BA, Nath KA, Nickolas TL, Okusa MD, Palevsky PM, Schnellmann R, Rys-Sikora K, Kimmel PL, Star RA; Kidney Research National Dialogue (KRND). AKI: A path forward. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol.2013 Sep;8(9):1606-8. doi: 10.2215/CJN.06040613. Epub 2013 Jul 18. PMID:23868899.

Gigliotti JC, Huang L, Ye H, Bajwa A, Chattrabhuti K, Lee S, Klibanov AL, Kalantari K, Rosin DL, Okusa MD. Ultrasound prevents renal ischemia-reperfusion injury by stimulating the splenic cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Sep;24(9):1451-60. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2013010084. Epub 2013 Aug 1. PMID: 23907510. PMCID: PMC3752954.

Buonomo EL, Madan R, Pramoonjago P, Li L, Okusa MD, Petri WA Jr. Role of interleukin 23 signaling in clostridium difficile colitis. J Infect Dis. 2013Sep;208(6):917-20. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit277. Epub 2013 Jun 17. PMID:23776194. PMCID: PMC3749013.

Chaturvedi S, Yuen DA, Bajwa A, Huang YW, Sokollik C, Huang L, Lam GY, Tole S, Liu GY, Pan J, Chan L, Sokolskyy Y, Puthia M, Godaly G, John R, Wang C, Lee WL, Brumell JH, Okusa MD, Robinson LA. Slit2 prevents neutrophil recruitment and renal ischemia-reperfusion injury. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Jul;24(8):1274-87. doi:10.1681/ASN.2012090890. Epub 2013 Jun 13. PMID: 23766538. PMCID: PMC3736708.

Okusa MD, Jaber BL, Doran P, Duranteau J, Yang L, Murray PT, Mehta RL, Ince C. Physiological biomarkers of acute kidney injury: a conceptual approach to improving outcomes. Contrib Nephrol. 2013;182:65-81. doi: 10.1159/000349967. Epub2013 May 13. PMID: 23689656.

McCullough PA, Bouchard J, Waikar SS, Siew ED, Endre ZH, Goldstein SL, Koyner JL, Macedo E, Doi K, Di Somma S, Lewington A, Thadhani R, Chakravarthi R, Ice C, Okusa MD, Duranteau J, Doran P, Yang L, Jaber BL, Meehan S, Kellum JA, Haase M, Murray PT, Cruz D, Maisel A, Bagshaw SM, Chawla LS, Mehta RL, Shaw AD, Ronco C. Implementation of novel biomarkers in the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of acute kidney injury: executive summary from the tenth consensus conference of the Acute Dialysis Quality Initiative (ADQI). Contrib Nephrol. 2013;182:5-12. doi:10.1159/000349962. Epub 2013 May 13. PMID: 23689652.

Bowman BT, Bernhard MR, Ibidapo AA, Okusa MD. Acute kidney injury due to 'coral reef syndrome'. Kidney Int. 2013 Jan;83(1):182. doi: 10.1038/ki.2012.318. PMID: 23271488.

Kinsey GR, Okusa MD. Role of leukocytes in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury. Crit Care. 2012 Dec 12;16(2):214. doi: 10.1186/cc11228. Review. PMID: 22429752. PMCID: PMC3681359.

Li L, Huang L, Ye H, Song SP, Bajwa A, Lee SJ, Moser EK, Jaworska K, Kinsey GR, Day YJ, Linden J, Lobo PI, Rosin DL, Okusa MD. Dendritic cells tolerized with adenosine A₂AR agonist attenuate acute kidney injury. J Clin Invest. 2012 Nov1;122(11):3931-42. doi: 10.1172/JCI63170. Epub 2012 Oct 24. PMID:23093781. PMCID: PMC3484444.