Dr. Bjornstad is committed to patient-oriented research, with a focus on the sex-specific differences in the mechanisms underlying the development of diabetic kidney disease in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic kidney disease is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease in people with type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, type 1 diabetes disproportionately increases cardiovascular disease risk in women versus men. Clinical trials in diabetic kidney disease have historically yielded disappointing results, partly due to limited understanding of what initiates development of the disease. For his Center for Women's Health Research junior faculty development award, Dr. Bjornstad looked at the role that blood flow in the kidneys plays in the development of diabetic kidney disease in women versus men. His research will help direct the development of new sex-based therapies to impede the development of diabetic kidney disease.