Michael H. Mengel
Medicine & Dentistry-Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
University of Alberta
Summary of research:
As a sub-specialized pathologists with a main focus on organ transplantation and kidney diseases my research is focused on improving diagnostic methods and by this the precision of diagnostics. Because only specific and precise diagnoses in the individual patient can accurately guide targeted therapeutic interventions. To this end I apply modern molecular ('omics') techniques combined with advance biostatistical methods in addition to conventional histopathology techniques (e.g. the microscope) to human tissue samples. This allows me to understand the disease mechanisms operating in the tissue and from that to derive specific diagnostic characteristics. By identifying specific therapeutic targets in the 'sick' tissue I will be able to provide relevant information to my clinical colleagues in regard to treat an individual patient in the most effective way, i.e. with the most beneficial drug effects and the least side effects. To facilitate adoption of my research discoveries I'm involved in respective international organizations which oversee the development of diagnostic standards. this allows me to communicate my discoveries to key opinion leaders and by this to participate in policy development in the area of transplant diagnostics, i.e. to translate research discoveries into clinical practice. A second research focus of mine is on kidney diseases. Taking a biopsy, i.e. a small piece from a sick kidney represents the diagnostic gold standard for a large group of children and adults with impaired kidney function. Here again it is my role to collaborate with a broad group of researchers interested in numerous kidney diseases. I can help them to identify and understand the structural and molecular correlates operating in human kidneys related to the disease processes they study .