Rujun Gong, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Kidney Diseases and Hypertension
Rhode Island Hospital
Brown University School of Medicine
Middle House Suite 301
593 Eddy Street
Providence, RI 02903, USA


Dr. Gong is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Physician Scientist at the Nephrology Division of Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Gong earned his MD degree from Nanjing University School of Medicine in Nanjing, China. He received his internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship training at the Jinling Hospital of Nanjing University, where he gained extensive experience in glomerulonephritis, transplantation immunology, renal pathology and molecular nephrology. Afterwards, he earned his doctorate in Renal Physiology in 2001 under the mentorship of Drs. Zhihong Liu and Leishi Li, the thesis being “Epistasis in common kidney diseases”. He joined the full-time faculty at Brown University after completing postdoctoral research training with Dr. Lance Dworkin in 2004. Dr. Gongs research interests center on pathogenesis and therapy of glomerulopathies, in particular podocytopathies; and pathogenic mechanisms of renal fibrogenesis and inflammation. His other research interests include epistasis in common kidney diseases; immunopathogenesis of lupus nephritis; and mechanisms of acute and chronic kidney injury, repair and regeneration. His research has been well funded by the US National Institutes of Health, private foundations and industry, and has been very active and productive with over 50 original peer-reviewed scientific publications as well as book chapters and patents.

Research Interest

His research interests include: Mechanisms of kidney injury, repair and regeneration. Current research projects in his lab include: Pathogenic mechanisms and novel treatments of glomerulopathies, Pathogenic mechanisms of acute kidney injury (AKI) and post-AKI transition to chronic kidney disease, Cell signaling mechanisms involved in chronic renal fibrogenesis or scarring, The pathogenesis and treatment of renal inflammation.

Scientific Activities


• (2003-present): American Heart Association
• (2001-present): American Society of Nephrology
• (2007-present): International Society of Nephrology
• (2008-present): Chinese American Society of Nephrology


• Yong Investigator Award Finalist, 12th Annual Research Celebration, Lifespan & Brown Medical School, 2004.
• Young Investigator Award, Rhode Island Foundation for Health, Providence, RI, 2005.
• Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigator Award Finalist, Chicago, IL, 2006.
• Young Investigator Award, Chinese American Society of Nephrology, November 10, 2011, Philadelphia, PA.


1. Gong R. Leveraging melanocortin pathways to treat glomerular diseases. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease. 2014; 21(2): 134-151. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2013.09.004
2. Xu W, Ge U, Liu Z, Gong R. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β dictates podocyte motility and focal adhesion turnover by modulating paxillin activity: implications for the protective effect of low-dose lithium in podocytopathy. American Journal of Pathology. 2014; 184(10): 2742-2756.
3. Bao H, Ge Y, Wang Z, et al. Delayed Administration of a Single Dose of Lithium Promotes Recovery from AKI. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2014; 25(3): 488-500. doi:10.1681/ASN.2013040350
4. Livingston MJ, Dong Z. Lithium in kidney diseases: big roles for the smallest metal. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2014; 25(3): 421-423. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2013111216
5. Razzak M. Basic research: the long and the short of it-the temporal effects of renal lithium exposure are beginning to be unravelled. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 2014; 10(3): 123. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2014
6. Qu L, Jiang M, Li Z, et al. Inhibitory effect of biosynthetic nanoscale peptide Melittin on hepatocellular carcinoma, driven by survivin promoter. Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology. 2014; 10(4): 695-706. doi:
7. Zhen Wang, Ge Y, Hui Bao, Lance Dworkin, Ai Peng, Gong R. Redox-sensitive glycogen synthase kinase 3β-directed control of mitochondrial permeability transition: rheostatic regulation of acute kidney injury. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2013; 65: 849–858. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.08.169
8. Si J, Ge Y, Zhuang S, Wang LJ, Chen S, Gong R. Adrenocorticotropic hormone ameliorates acute kidney injury by steroidogenic-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Kidney International. 2013; 83(4): 635-646.
9. Brem AS, Morris DJ, Li X, Ge Y, Shaw S, Gong R. Adrenalectomy amplifies aldosterone induced injury in cardiovascular tissue: An effect attenuated by adrenally derived steroids. Steroids. 2013; 78(3): 347-355. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2012.12.007
10. Dai JF, Jiang M, Qu LL, Sun L, Wang YY, Gong LL, Gong R, Si J. Toxoplasma gondii: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on a recombinant multi-epitope peptide for distinguishing recent from past infection in human sera. Experimental Parasitology. 2013; 133(1): 95-100. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2012.10.016
11. Qu L, Wang Y, Gong L, Zhu J, Gong R, Si J. Suicide gene therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma cells by survivin promoter-driven expression of the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene. Oncology Reports. 2013; 29(4): 1435-1440. doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2248
12. Wang Y, Qu L, Gong L, Sun L, Gong R, Si J. Targeting and eradicating hepatic cancer cells with a cancer-specific vector carrying the Buforin II gene. Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals. 2013; 28(8): 623-630. doi: 10.1089/cbr.2012.1469
13. Tang J, Liu N, Tolbert E, et al. Sustained activation of EGFR triggers renal fibrogenesis after acute kidney injury. American Journal of Pathology. 2013; 183(1): 160-172. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2013.04.005
14. Gong R. The renaissance of corticotrophin therapy in proteinuric nephropathies. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 2012; 8(2): 122-8. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2011.190
15. Bao H, Ge Y, Zhuang S, Dworkin LD, Liu Z, Gong R. Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β prevents NSAID-induced acute kidney injury. Kidney International. 2012; 81(7): 662-673. doi: 10.1038/ki.2011.443
16. Dai J, Jiang M, Wang Y, Qu L, Gong R, Si J. Evaluation of a recombinant multiepitope peptide for serodiagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infection. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. 2012; 19(3): 338-342. doi: 10.1128/CVI.05553-11
17. Li L, Zhang L, Gong R, et al. Distinct roles of two alternative splice variants of matrilin-2 in protein oligomerization and proteolysis. Molecular Medicine Reports. 2012; 6(5): 1204-1210. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2012.1056
18. Liu N, He S, Tolbert E, Gong R, Bayliss G, Zhuang S. Suramin alleviates glomerular injury and inflammation in the remnant kidney. PLoS One. 2012; 7(4): e36194. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036194
19. Liu N, Guo JK, Pang M, et al. Genetic or Pharmacologic Blockade of EGFR Inhibits Renal Fibrosis. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2012; 23(5): 854-867. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011050493
20. Brem A, Morris D, Gong R. Aldosterone induced fibrosis in the kidney: Questions and controversies. American Journal of Kidney Disease. 2011; 58(3): 471-479. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.03.029
21. Ge Y, Si J, Tian L, Zhuang S, Dworkin L, Gong R. Conditional ablation of glycogen synthase kinase 3b in postnatal mouse kidney. Laboratory Investigation. 2011; 91(1): 85-96. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2010.142
22. Ponnusamy M, Liu N, Gong R, Yan H, Zhuang S. ERK pathway mediates P2X7 expression and cell death in renal interstitial fibroblasts exposed to necrotic renal epithelial cells. American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology. 2011; 301(3): F650-F659. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00215.2011
23. Ponnusamy M, Ma L, Gong R, Pang M, Chin YE, Zhuang S. P2X7 receptors mediate deleterious renal epithelial-fibroblast cross talk. American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology. 2011; 300(1): F62-F70. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00473.2010.
24. Luo J, Li Y, Gong R. The mechanism of atopic march may be the social event of cells and molecules. Journal of International Molecular Medicine. 2010; 26(12): 779-785.
25. Pang M, Ma L, Gong R, et al. A novel STAT3 inhibitor, S3I-201, attenuates renal interstitial fibroblast activation and interstitial fibrosis in obstructive nephropathy. Kidney International. 2010; 78(3): 257-268. doi: 10.1038/ki.2010.154
26. Brem AS, Morris JM, Ge Y, Dworkin L, Tolbert E, Gong R. Direct fibrogenic effects of aldosterone on normotensive kidney: An effect modified by 11-HSD activity. American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology. 2010; 298(5): F1178-F1187. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00532.2009
27. Si J, Ge Y, Zhuang S, Gong R. Inhibiting nonmuscle myosin II impedes inflammatory infiltration and ameliorates progressive renal disease. Laboratory Investigation. 2010; 90(3): 448-458. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2009.142
28. Ponnusamy M, Pang M, Gong R, et al. Transglutaminase-1 protects renal epithelial cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis through activation of STAT3 and Akt signaling pathways. American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology. 2009; 297(5): F1361-F1370. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00251.2009
29. Zhang Z, Xing J, Ma L, Gong R, Chin YE, Zhuang S. Transglutaminase-1 regulates renal epithelial cell proliferation through activation of Stat-3. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2009; 284(5): 3345-3353. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M808396200
30. Gong R. Multi-target anti-inflammatory action of hepatocyte growth factor. Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs. 2008; 9(11): 1163-1170.
31. Gong R, Latif S, Morris DJ, Brem AS. Co-localization of glucocorticoid metabolizing and prostaglandin synthesizing enzymes in rat kidney and liver. Life Sciences. 2008; 83(21-22): 725-731. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2008.09.015
32. Chen S, Ge Y, Si J, Rifai A, Dworkin LD, Gong R. Candesartan suppresses chronic renal inflammation via a novel antioxidant action independent of AT1R blockade. Kidney International. 2008; 74(9): 1128-1138. doi: 10.1038/ki.2008.380
33. Gong R, Ge Y, Chen S, et al. Glycogen synthase kinase 3: a novel marker and modulator of inflammatory injury in chronic renal allograft disease. American Journal of Transplantation. 2008; 8(9): 1852-1863. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2008.02319.x
34. Gong R, Rifai A, Ge Y, Chen S, Dworkin LD. Hepatocyte growth factor suppresses proinflammatory NF-kB activation through GSK3b inactivation in renal tubular epithelial cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2008; 283(12): 7401-7410.
35. Gong R, Morris DJ, Brem AA. Variable Expression of 11ß Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase (11b-HSD) Isoforms in Vascular Endothelial Cells. Steroids. 2008; 73(11): 1187-1196. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M710396200
36. Gong R, Morris DJ, Brem AS. Human renal 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 functions and co-localizes with COX-2. Life Sciences. 2008; 82(11-12): 631-637. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2007.12.019
37. Gong R, Liu Z, Li L. Epistatic effect of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 and -fibrinogen genes on risk of glomerular microthrombosis in lupus nephritis: Interaction with environmental/clinical factors. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2007; 57(5): 1608-1617. doi: 10.1002/art.22598
38. Chen Yu, Gong R, Rifai A, Tolbert EM, Dworkin LD. Long-term, high-dosage candesartan suppresses inflammation and injury in chronic kidney disease: non hemodynamic renal protection. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2007; 18(3): 750-759. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2006070770
39. Gong R, Rifai A, Dworkin LD. Anti-inflammatory effect of hepatocyte growth factor in chronic kidney disease: Targeting the inflamed vascular endothelium. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2006; 17(9): 2464-2473. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2006020185
40. Gong R, Rifai A, Dworkin LD. Hepatocyte growth factor suppresses acute renal inflammation by inhibition of endothelial E-selectin. Kidney International. 2006; 69(7): 1166-1174. doi: 10.1038/
41. Gong R, Rifai A, Dworkin LD. Activation of PI3K-Akt-GSK3beta pathway mediates hepatocyte growth factor inhibition of RANTES expression in renal tubular epithelial cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2005; 330(1): 27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.02.122
42. Biswas P, Roy A, Gong R, et al. Hepatocyte Growth Factor induces an Endothelin Mediated Decline in Glomerular Filtration Rate. American Journal of Physiology Renal Physiology. 2005; 288(1): F8-F15. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00435.2003
43. Chen H, Liu Z, Gong R, et al. Lipoprotein glomerulopathy: clinical features and pathological characteristics in Chinese. Chinese Medical Journal. 2004; 117(10): 1513-1517.
44. Dworkin LD, Gong R, Tolbert E, et al. Hepatocyte growth factor ameliorates progression of interstitial fibrosis in rats with established renal injury. Kidney International. 2004; 65(2): 409-419. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1755.2004.00417.x
45. Gong R, Rifai A, Tolbert E, Biswas P, Centracchio J, Dworkin LD. Hepatocyte growth factor ameliorates renal interstitial inflammation in nephrectomized rats by modulating tubular expression of MCP-1 and RANTES. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2004; 15(11): 2868-2881. doi: 10.1097/01.ASN.0000141962.44300.3A
46. Gong R, Rifai A, Tolbert E, Jason Centracchio, Dworkin LD. Hepatocyte growth factor modulates matrix metalloproteinases and plasminogen activator/plasmin proteolytic pathways in progressive renal interstitial fibrosis. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2003; 14(12): 3047-3060. doi: 10.1097/01.ASN.0000098686.72971.DB
47. Liu Z, Cheng Z, Gong R, Liu H, Liu D, Li L. Sex differences in estrogen receptor gene polymorphism and its association with lupus nephritis in Chinese. Nephron. 2002; 90(2): 174-180.
48. Gong R, Liu Z, Chen Z, Li L. Genetic variation of mannose-binding protein associated with glomerular immune deposition in IgA nephropathy. Chinese Medical Journal. 2002; 115(2): 192-196.
49. Liu Z, Yang J, Chen Z, Gong R, Li L. Gene polymorphism in IL-1 receptor antagonist affects its production by monocytes in IgA nephropathy and Henoch-Schonlein nephritis. Chinese Medical Journal. 2001; 114(12): 1313-1316.
50. Gong R, Liu Z, Li L. Mannose-binding lectin gene polymorphism associated with the patterns of glomerular immune deposition in IgA nephropathy. Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology. 2001; 35(3): 228-232.
51. Bao H, Gong R. Role of adrenocorticotropin therapy in proteinuric nephropathies. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 2001; 20(2): 154-160.
52. Liu Z, Gong R, Hu K, Li Y, Wang P, Li L. Acquired mutation of type II transforming growth factor-beta receptor gene in glomerulosclerosis. National Medical Journal of China. 2002; 82(12): 802-806.
53. Gong R, Liu Z, Chen Z, Li L. Genetic variations in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene and beta fibrinogen gene associated with glomerular microthrombosis in lupus nephritis and the gene dosage effect. Chinese Journal of Medical Genetics. 2002; 19(1): 1-5.
54. Gong R, Liu Z, Chen Z, Dong Liu, Li L. Mannose-binding protein gene polymorphism influences the patterns of glomerular immune deposition in IgA nephropathy. Chinese Journal of Medical Genetics. 2001; 18(2): 83-87.
55. Gong R, Liu Z, Zhou H, Chen H, Zeng C, Li L. Genetic variation in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene in lupus nephritis associated with glomerular microthrombosis. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 2001; 10(1): 28-32.
56. Gong R, Liu Z, Liu D, Li L. Mannose-binding protein gene polymorphism associated with low serum concentration in patients with IgA nephropathy. Journal of Nanjing University (Natural Science Edition). 2001; 37(5): 581-588.
57. Gong R, Liu Z, Chen ZZ, et al. Lipids biochemical profile and apolipoprotein E genetic variation in patients with lipoprotein E glomerulopathy. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 2001; 10(4): 329-334.
58. Gong R, Liu Z, Kebin Hu, Wang J, Li L. Microdissection of a single glomerulus from archival section of renal biopsy and its application in molecular nephrology. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 2000; 9(6): 534-538.
59. Gong R, Wang Q. DNA microarray technology and its perspective application in nephrology. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 2001; 10(1): 58-61.
60. Gong R, Zhu X. Strategy and progress of genetic studies in diabetic nephropathy. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 2001; 10(3): 269-273.
61. Gong R, Liu Z-H, Chen Z-H, Li L-S. Patterns of glomerular Immune deposition in IgA nephropathy based on a genetic variation: Mannose binding protein gene polymorphism. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 2000; 9(3): 201-206.
62. Gong R, Liu Z. Mannose-binding protein. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 2000; 9(3): 262-268.
63. Gong R, Hu W. Pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus associated nephropathy. Chinese Journal of Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation. 1999; 8(2): 152-155.
64. Gong R, Yang J. Role of chemokine and its receptor in T cell priming and Th1/Th2 mediated immune response. Chinese Journal of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation. 1999; 8(5): 449-454.