Vishal Vaidya

Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health

Department of Environmental Health

Harvard Institutes of Medicine
Renal Division, Rm 562
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Phone: 617.525.5974


(More information can be found at


The kidney is highly susceptible to toxic effects of environmental pollutants and therapeutic substances since many of these compounds are metabolized, accumulated and concentrated in the kidney. Our aim is to understand the fundamental basis of kidney exposure biology with a particular focus on biological indicators and mechanisms of regeneration in response to damage. The research areas being pursued in our lab are:


Problem: Traditional markers of kidney injury, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, etc, lack the sensitivity and/or specificity to adequately detect injury before considerable loss of kidney function.

Solution: We are interested in identifying and evaluating novel biomarkers and novel technologies to quantitate these biomarkers for early detection of kidney injury.

Impact: It is our hope that extensively validated, sensitive, and specific translational biomarkers coupled with rapid and economic technologies for non-invasive detection of the onset and severity of kidney injury will be beneficial in drug development, environmental health screening, and renal medicine.


Problem: Chemical-induced nephrotoxicity plays a major role in the high incidence and prevalence of kidney injury in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized individuals.

Solution: We are investigating the mechanisms of drugs and environmental contaminant induced kidney toxicity using genetically engineered in vitro and in vivo models to identify the distinct causative signaling pathways that propagate toxicity.

Impact: Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of kidney toxicity will not only aid in the prediction of human nephrotoxicity during preclinical stud­ies but also guide us in identifying effective targeted therapeutic regimens to reduce or prevent kidney toxicity in patients.


Problem: Although it has been known that kidney (just like liver) can regenerate following injury at the pathological level, very little is known about the molecular factors that regulate the tissue repair process.

Solution: We are characterizing the critical role of key transcription factors, micro RNA’s and endogenously synthesized soluble peptides in their ability to modulate/enhance epithelial and endothelial repair in the kidney following injury.

Impact: Given that kidney regeneration is a major determinant of outcome for patients with kidney damage, these studies aim at providing opportunities for the use of novel molecules as therapeutic agents in kidney disease.


  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Associate Biologist, Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Associate Faculty, Center for Environment, Harvard University
  • Affiliate faculty, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University
  • Member, Harvard NIEHS Center for Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Member, Society of Toxicology, American Society of Nephrology


  • 1998: BS, Pharmacy-Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune, India
  • 2003: PhD, Pharmaceutical Sciences (Toxicology)-Univ. of Louisiana at Monroe, LA
  • 2007: PostDoc Fellowship, Nephrology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


  • Course Director: Principles of Toxicology. EH 504/BPH 713/BPH 215. Offered in the fall every Monday and Wednesdays from 10.30 am to 12.20 pm for 2.5 or 5 credits.
  • Course Director: Molecular Signals to Understand Exposure Biology. EH527/BPH 308qc, 2.5 credits, offered every Thursday (110 min lectures for 15 weeks) in the spring.