Dr. Mathew is currently funded by NIH K08 Career development grant and several pilot grants. The Mathew lab consists of motivated research staff and undergraduate students focused on conducting basic and translational studies in in vitro, animal and clinical models. She plans and troubleshoots the experiments and analyzes the data generated. She then drafts abstracts and manuscripts for publication at national meetings and journals. In addition to the day to day logistics including budgeting and personnel management, Dr. Mathew spends her time applying for grants to solidify her independent research career.
Using her expertise in metabolomics and proteomics Dr. Mathew studies the mechanisms behind the increased cardiovascular risk in kidney patients. She explores the altered metabolic pathways in the immune cells involved in atherosclerotic disease in both animal models and parallel clinical studies in kidney patients. When asked why she is interested in this area of research, Dr. Mathews stated, "Even mild form of kidney disease increases the risk of heart disease, making cardiovascular disease mortality more imminent than the need for dialysis in most patients. Also, once on kidney replacement therapies like dialysis, heart disease increases hospitalizations, interventions, and mortality in these patients. I was mortified to realize that kidney disease reduces the life expectancy of patients to one-third of their healthy counterparts- worse than most cancers. My research aims to explore the role of activated immune cells in the development of heart disease in kidney patients. I believe identifying the mechanisms behind this increased cardiovascular risk will have the most significant impact on kidney patients."
Dr. Mathew hopes to open up avenues to create drugs, identify lifestyle changes, and improve our dialysis or transplantation modalities to help kidney patients have a longer, more disease-free life. Once we figure out the mechanism behind the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in these patients, renal replacement therapies like dialysis will no longer be just a supportive measure, but a means to sustain a healthy life expectancy.
Outside of work, Dr. Mathews enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and two children. She loves cooking, binge-watching murder mysteries, and reading motivational books when she gets the chance.