Overview of interests
Dr. Burger’s research examines mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic vascular and kidney disease. In particular, his research focuses on the role of microparticles in these processes. Microparticles are small (0.1-1.0μm) fragments of membrane that are shed from cells under conditions of stress or injury. Previous research from Dr. Burger and others has shown that microparticles may serve as biomarkers of underlying disease and that, once shed, exert deleterious biological effects on target cells.
Accomplishments / Awards
Dr. Burger was the recipient of the July 2014 New Investigator Award from the KRESCENT program (kidney research scientist core education and national training program) which is a joint initiative through the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
Scientific breakthroughs / Impact
Dr. Burger’s laboratory was the first to obtain evidence that microparticles are released from podocytes and found in the urine of diabetic mice (Burger et al.- J Am Soc Nephrol 2014). Importantly, podocyte microparticles increase with renal injury but precede development of albuminuria which is currently the earliest clinical sign of kidney damage in diabetes. They are hoping to adapt this methodology for earlier detection of diabetic kidney disease.
Dr. Burger’s research is supported by The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) as well as the Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFC).