Urinary IL-6 Levels in Kidney Stone Patients and Uric Acid Kidney Stones in Filipino Patients.
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Working in the urology department at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Los Angeles provided the opportunity to conduct clinical research while shadowing doctors in clinic and surgery. During the fellowship I worked with two research resident physicians, Dr. Ashish Parekh and Dr. John Brusky, under the guidance of Dr. Gary Bellman. The primary project studied urinary IL-6 in patients with kidney stones. The objective of the study was to demonstrate that urinary IL-6 levels are elevated with stones and decrease without, indicating that IL-6 may be used as a marker of kidney stone status. A secondary study focused on the incidence of uric acid stones in Filipino patients, intending to observe a higher incidence than the general population, possibly due to cultural dietary differences. My primary objective was to create patient databases for both studies. This consisted of accessing patient information and reviewing charts. Another responsibility was transferring patients? urine samples to the laboratory, where each was stored and catalogued. At this time the IL-6 study consists of 120 samples and will soon start conducting assays for content analysis. The Filipino study is awaiting metabolic evaluations from a remaining number of patients before proceeding with appropriate statistical analysis. Additional to my research experience, I was also afforded the rewarding opportunities of observing several surgeries with various physicians. These operations included laparoscopic nephrectomy, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, and correcting a penile deformity.