null Tomoko Takano, MD, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC, Glen site

Metabolic Disorders and Complications Program

Centre for Translational Biology

Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, MUHC



nephrotic syndrome • proteinuria • podocytes • Rho-GTPases • cytoskeleton

Research Focus

My research focuses on how the barrier function of the kidney is maintained and how proteinuria (leakage of protein in urine) contributes to the progression of kidney failure. When the kidney makes urine, it retains important proteins in the blood and eliminates waste products in the urine. When this barrier function is impaired in the kidney, proteins start to leak into the urine (proteinuria). Proteinuria is often the first manifestation of a kidney disease and the more proteinuria a patient has, the more likely they are to develop kidney failure. A particular emphasis is on the function of cells called podocytes, which play a critical role in the kidney barrier. By stopping proteinuria, we hope to arrest the progression of kidney failure. We are also interested in a disease called nephrotic syndrome that is common among young children and features heavy proteinuria. Working with the national network of pediatric kidney doctors, we are studying the blood cells of affected children to find the cause and cure of nephrotic syndrome.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Esfahani K, Al-Aubodah TA, Thebault P, Lapointe R, Hudson M, Johnson NA, Baran D, Bhulaiga N, Takano T, Cailhier JF, Piccirillo CA, Miller WH (Al-Aubodah is the eaqual-contributing 1st author and my trainee). (2019). Targeting the mTOR pathway uncouples the efficacy and toxicity of PD-1 blockade in renal transplantation.Nature Comm. 10(1): 4712.

  • Takano T, Bareke E, Takeda N, Aoudjit L, Baldwin C, Pisano P, Matsuda J, El Andalousi J, Muhtadie L, Bernard C, Majewski J, Miyazaki T, Yamamura K, Gupta IR. (2019). Recessive Mutation in CD2AP Causes Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis in Humans and in Mice. Kidney Int. 95: 57-61.

  • Matsuda J, Maier M, Baldwin C, Aoudjit L, Takano T. (2020). ARHGEF7(β-PIX) is required for the maintenance of podocyte architecture and glomerularfunction. J Am Soc Nephrol. 31(5):996-1008. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2019090982. Epub 2020 Mar 18. PMID: 32188698.

  • Maier M, Baldwin C, Aoudjit L, Takano T. (2018). The Role of Trio, a Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor, in Glomerular Podocytes.Int J Mol Sci. 19(2): pii: E479.

  • Robins R, Baldwin C, Aoudjit L, Cote JF, Gupta IR, Takano T. (2017). Rac1 activation in podocytes induces the spectrum of nephrotic syndrome. Kidney Int (Editorial comments on the same issue, p.283). 92: 349-364.