Dr. Richard L. Hébert

Dr. Richard L. Hébert
Dr. Richard L. Hébert
Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine

BA Arts, University of Ottawa
BSc Biology, University of Ottawa
MSc Physiology, University of Sherbrooke
PhD Physiology, University of Sherbrooke
Postdoctoral Fellow, Nephrology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Roger Guindon Hall, room 2514
(613) 562-5800 ext. 8616


Overview of interests

The arachidonic acid lipid metabolite Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), the main renal product of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), is a key regulator of sodium and water transport along the nephron acting on four G protein coupled EP receptors (EP1-4). Our group showed that PGE2 stimulates sodium and water reabsorption via EP4; and promotes natriuresis and diuresis via EP1 and EP3. EP receptors are most abundant in the collecting duct, but also expressed in the thick ascending limb. Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD), sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are promising therapeutics by inhibiting proximal tubule glucose uptake. SGLT2 inhibitors overall are nephron-protective but the implications of their effect on glucose and fluid delivery along the nephron have not been studied in detail. Moreover, the role of the lipid PGE2 in these effects is unknown. The diabetic mouse is ideal for completing these studies, since preclinical data are needed before considering large-scale clinical trials to assess long-term consequences of SGLT2 inhibition by canagliflozin.

Scientific breakthroughs

Dr. Hébert’s laboratory is the only one in Canada capable of performing microperfusion of mouse kidney tubules, proximal tubules and collecting duct in vitro. Though the mice provide a challenge compared to the rabbit or rat for in vitro perfusion studies, the lab has dedicated a great deal of effort to optimizing the dissection and perfusion strategies. These innovative and functional studies are a necessary complement to cell and molecular studies in mouse physiology.

Accomplishments and awards

Invited speaker by the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Québec Chapter. Title of the talk: “Les Anti-Inflammatoires dans le traitement des maladies rénales”

Honorary guest speaker invited by the Dean of Science, Dr. André E. Lalonde, for the 2007 Annual Awards Ceremony, Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.

Award of Excellence for Research, Teaching and Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Grant support

Dr. Hébert’s research has received continuous funding from Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFC), and Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Research interests

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension