5 October 2022

Gijs Franken successfully defended his thesis entitled 'On the origin and function of renal magnesium transport'.

Outline of this thesis
Magnesium is an important mineral that plays a crucial role in many biological processes, required for normal physiology, such as muscle contraction, blood pressure regulation, and neurotransduction. Deficits in Mg may lead to fatigue, muscle cramp, epilepsy, and cardiac arrest. The kidneys play a central role in maintaining blood Mg levels constant. Within the kidney, the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) fine tunes Mg homeostasis as it regulates transcellular Mg transport. From the urine, Mg is reabsorbed via TRPM6/7 Mg channels. However, the exit route for Mg towards the blood remains unclear. Within my doctoral research, we have studied the proteins CNNM2 and SLC41A3 and their part in basolateral Mg transport. Using patient-data, animal models and biochemical approaches, we further characterised these proteins in vitro and in vivo, showing their indispensable role in Mg homeostasis. 

Gijs Franken (1993) obtained his master’s degree in Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MMD) cum laude in 2017 from the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), Radboudumc in Nijmegen. He conducted his doctoral research at the Department of Physiology, Radboudumc, within the RIMLS. He is currently working as a lecturer at the Department of Physiology, Radboudumc.

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