Adrian Salic, Ph.D. | Harvard Medical School

PKD Foundation (PKDF): How did you first get involved in PKD research?

Adrian: My lab has had a longstanding interest in studying signaling processes that take place in the primary cilium, a structure that plays the role of a cellular antenna, receiving and interpreting numerous different stimuli. While studying primary cilia, I became aware of their crucial role in PKD, and I realized there is much to learn about how cilia defects lead to PKD.

PKDF: What are you working on currently?

Adrian: We are trying to understand the mechanisms of signal transduction in primary cilia, as they relate to cystogenesis, and to less frequent birth defects. We are also developing novel chemical tools to visualize various cellular components (DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids).

PKDF: What would you like the patient community to know about your research?

Adrian: To find a cure for any disease, we need an understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind it: how a process functions normally, and how it leads to disease when the process is impaired, for example by genetic mutation. Basic scientists like myself are trying to decipher these mechanisms and help devise new therapies based on this molecular understanding.

PKDF: What excites you most about this research?

Adrian: In the past, I have worked on biological problems with a less direct disease connection. This is the first time that our work is relevant to an important health problem. This gives me a great feeling of satisfaction that we can hopefully contribute to speeding up the discovery of a cure for PKD.

PKDF: What are some of your personal interests outside of research?

Adrian: I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, visiting art museums, and listening to live music.