Division of Pediatric Nephrology Welcomes New Faculty Aidan W. Porter, MD

August 5, 2021

Aidan Porter, MDThe Division of Pediatric Nephrology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is pleased to welcome new faculty member Aidan W. Porter, MD. Dr. Porter began his tenure on July 1, but he is no stranger to the Division, having completed his pediatric residency and pediatric nephrology fellowship training at UPMC Children's and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Porter graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and earned his medical degree at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He then completed his residency at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Porter began his pediatric nephrology fellowship at UPMC Children's in 2018 and joined the Division faculty immediately upon concluding his training.

Research Focus

Dr. Porter’s clinical emphasis and research are closely aligned, focusing on acute kidney injury (AKI) and various electrolyte disorders.

Dr. Porter has identified novel roles for proteins that regulate the unfolded protein response in the pathogenesis and treatment of AKI. His research is conducted in the Brodsky Laboratory and the Center for Protein Conformational Diseases, led by Jeffrey L. Brodsky, PhD, the Avinoff Chair in Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Specifically, Dr. Porter’s research involves the study of glucose-regulated protein 170 (GRP-170), a molecular chaperone that functions to regulate protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Dr. Porter is examining GRP-170’s role in the cells of nephrons.

“We know that the accumulation of misfolded proteins within the ER triggers a cell stress response, which if left unchecked can contribute to AKI. A better understanding of the cellular physiology linking protein homeostasis to kidney disease promises novel therapeutic strategies to treat AKI,” says Dr. Porter. “AKI continues to be one of the great challenges to surmount in nephrology. I am hopeful that my research may one day help to develop a viable target and strategy to treat this common condition and its complications,” says Dr. Porter.

Carlton Bates, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at UPMC Children’s says, “Dr. Porter and his group are the first to identify a connection between the unfolded protein response and ER stress to acute kidney injury. Excitingly, they have small molecules that target this pathway that may offer novel therapies for patients with AKI, for which we have no targeted therapies presently.”

Learn more about the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.