College: University of California, Berkeley BA (Mathematics)
Medical School: University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, MD
Internal Medicine Residency: Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Nephrology Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Pearce's research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying hormone-regulated ion transport in the kidney tubules. His lab has cloned and characterized several key regulatory proteins involved in the control of epithelial Na+ and K+ transport. Notably, SGK1 is a serine-threonine signaling kinase, which mediates the effects of multiple hormones, and is necessary for normal Na+ and K+ homeostasis. Defects in SGK1 result in pseudohypoaldosteronism (Na+ wasting and inability to excrete K+ despite high aldosterone levels).
His group has made seminal contributions to our understanding of how the effects of SGK1 and other signaling proteins are integrated to achieve specific regulation of ion transport. Recently, his lab identified a large multiprotein complex, which integrates manifold inputs that impact on Na+ transport in kidney tubule cells. The principal goal of this basic research is to identify points of entry for treatment of diseases such as hypertension and metabolic syndrome. Already, SGK1 inhibitors are in preclinical testing for the treatment of salt sensitive hypertension.
Dr. Pearce's research is funded by two R01's from the NIDDK, and several Foundation awards.
Dr. Pearce is Professor of Medicine and Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology at UCSF, and Chief of Nephrology at San Francisco General Hospital, one of the core teaching hospitals affiliated with UCSF.