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Department of Renal Medicine
Royal Free Hospital
Miss CHUTONG ZHONG profile picture
  • Student
  • Div of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Eunice completed her MSc Clinical Nutrition and Public Health in the University College London (UCL) and then started her PhD journey with Dr Stephen Walsh after discovering her interest in clinical research. She is now entering her 3rd year of PhD, working hard on a methodological project of developing new techniques to targeted isolate primary human distal convoluted tubule (hDCT) cells from urine. The cells will be cultured into 3D tubuloid/cellular model in vitro and are pivotal for tubular patho/physiology research, disease characterisation and personalised medicine. This advanced method is non-invasive and allowed continuous monitor of disease progression and treatment efficacy. Her work has been presented in Europhysiology 2022 and ASN Kidney Week 2022 as oral and poster presentations. Eunice has recently received awards from Physiology Society and ASN Kidney STARS program.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Kidney diseases and blood pressure cause >15 million death per year globally. The kidney’s distal convoluted tubules (DCT) were recently discovered to control blood pressure in response to dietary salt, however, current cell models poorly replicate human physiology for further study. 


I aim to optimise a recently developed protocol for isolating and immortalizing primary DCT cells from healthy volunteers, instead, using clinically collected urinary samples from patient with renal tubular disorders and/or hypertension. These cells will be pivotal in the development of disease-specific models for research. Additionally, both immortalised and primary hDCT will be cultured on an “organ-on-a-chip” system to create 3D tubular-like structures that better emulate the real-life tissue architecture and physiological responses. The tubules can then be grown alongside artificial blood vessels to investigate tubule-capillary interactions. Unlike 2D models, this system can be perfused at different flow rates for functional experiments and pharmacological testing. 


The ultimate goal of this project is to bring genuine personalised medicine to the diagnosis and treatment of tubular diseases and hypertension. Using this approach, we can tailor individual treatment plans to maximise patient benefit in a completely non-invasive, patient-centered manner using their own urine- and blood-derived cells. 

Teaching Summary

PGTA/Teacher Assistant for the following BSc/MSc modules:

MEDC0010 Molecular Basis of Disease

MEDC0097 Nutrition and Cancer Risk

MEDC0089 Malnourishment and Obesity

MEDC0037/39 Practical Nutrition Assessment

MEDC0127 Proteomics techniques and applications

MEDC0129 Transcriptomics technologies, bioinformatics analysis and applications

Division of Medicine MSc video project

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