Nowak Lab

Lab Overview

Ultrasound 1I am trained as a physiologist, with a focus on lifestyle interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and kidney disease progression in patients with kidney diseases, particularly autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Our laboratory conducts clinical and translational research in these populations, evaluating the efficacy of interventions, physiological mechanisms underlying pathophysiology, as well as physiological changes mediating improvements in response to interventions. Additionally, I completed a MPH in epidemiology, and I have a strong interest in translational research that spans from the cellular level to a population-wide impact.

Our laboratory has equipment and expertise to employ state-of the art techniques, including measuring brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, carotid artery compliance, pulse-wave velocity, and transcranial Doppler assessment of cerebrovascular reactivity. Our integrative methods include oxidative stress-mediated suppression of endothelium-dependent dilation, vascular endothelial cell collections, serum incubation in cell culture, pro-inflammatory cytokine production of stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and adipose tissue biopsies.

In addition to expertise in vascular physiology, we are actively investigating strategies targeting metabolic reprogramming (e.g., caloric restriction) and adiposity in adults with ADPKD. We are at the forefront of novel ADPKD research. For example, we were the first to report a strong and independent association between overweight and obesity in ADPKD progression. I have been PI or Co-I for multiple clinical trials in patients with ADPKD, as well as CKD, including children and young adults.

We are committed to the scientific training of the next generation. Trainees in the laboratory have successfully obtained individual postdoctoral fellowships supporting their cutting-edge research.



Kristen Nowak, PhD, MPH

Kristen Nowak, PhD, MPH


Wei Wang, MD

Mallory_Britz 1

Mallory Britz

Cortney Steele, PhD

Cortney Steele, PhD


Claire Winslow

Taylor Vaughan 1

Taylor Vaughan

Ester Oh, PhD

Ester Oh, PhD


Erin Coleman


Anna Ostrow


Heather Farmer-Bailey, FNP-BC


Diana George


Vascular Laboratory

Nina Bispham
Mikaela Malaczewski
Laurel Thur

MPH Students

Laura Grau
Hannah Cruz
Kelly Leach
Rebecca Waller

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