Divisional Director, Professor

Research Interest

My research efforts focus on the normal development and pathogenesis of the urogenital system. Urinary tractmalformations, obstructive nephropathy, and renal hypoplasia/dysplasia comprise over 50% of the children with end-stage renal disease worldwide. These defects are extremely important in the terms of pediatric health care costs, with end-stage renal disease costing 1.5 billion dollars annually in the United States. Studies in my lab focus on congenital defects in bladder development and the resulting sequelae associated with obstructive nephropathy including chronic renal failure and kidney disease. We have identified a highly unique mouse model, designated mgb for megabladder. Mgb-/- mice represent the first animal model of congenital obstructive nephropathy and we are currently using a wide range of genetic and molecular approaches to identify the gene responsible for the bladder defect observed in these mice. In addition, the identification of the factors responsible for the pathogenic changes in renal function following the development of obstructive nephropathy in mgb mice provides a platform for the evaluation of pharmacological, surgical, and therapeutic strategies designed to prevent and treat the development of progressive renal failure. During my career.

I have mentored over 35 trainees ranging from undergraduate students to medical fellows and junior faculty. My lab provides high quality, cutting-edge translational research training designed to promote trainee career development and scientific independence.As Director of the Nephrology and Urology Research Affinity Group at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I have worked diligently to create a research program where physicians and basic scientists actively collaborate in cutting-edge translational research designed to enhance the health of children with diseases of the kidney and urinary tract. The success of this program is evidenced by the fact that it has been ranked in the top-ten nationally in 2012 and 2013 (US World & News Report).

Education and Training

PhD, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH

BS, Mount Union College, Alliance, OH


DeSouza, K, Carpenter, A, McHugh, KM. Analysis of the Sonic Hedgehog Signaling Pathway in Normal and Abnormal Bladder Development. Plos ONE, accepted, 2013.

Becknell, B, Hains, DS, Schwaderer, A, Vanderbrink, B, Spencer, JD, McHugh, KM. Impact of Urinary Tract Infection on Inpatient Healthcare Utilization for Congenital Obstructive Nephropathy. Journal Pediatric Urology, 8:470-476, 2012.

Spencer, JD, Schwaderer, A, DiRosario, J, McHugh, KM, McGillivary, G, Carpenter, A, Baker, P, Harder, J, and Hains, D. 2011. Ribonuclease 7: A Potent Antimicrobial Peptide Within the Human Kidney and Urinary Tract. Kidney International, 80:174-180.

Ingraham, S, and McHugh, KM. Current Perspectives on Congenital Obstructive Nephropathy. Invited Review, Pediatric Nephrology, 26:1453-1461, 2011.

Becknell B, Pais P, Onimoe G, Rangarajan H, Schwaderer A, McHugh KM, Ranalli M, and Hains D. Hepatoblastoma and Prune Belly Syndrome:A Potential Association. Pediatric Nephrology, 26:1269-1273, 2011.

Ingraham, S, Saha, M, Carpenter, A, Robinson, M, Ismail, I, Singh, S, Hains, D, Robinson, M, Hirselj, D, Koff, S, Bates, C and McHugh, KM. 2010 Pathogenesis of Renal Injury in the Megabladder Mouse: Genetic Model of Congenital Obstructive Nephropathy. Pediatric Research, 60:500-507.

Hains DS, Sims-Lucas S, Carpenter A, Saha M, Murawsik I, Kish K, Gupta I, McHugh K, and Bates CM. High Incidence of Vesico-ureteral Reflux in Mice with Deletion of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 2 in Kidney Mesenchyme. Journal of Urology, 183:2077-2084, 2010.

Spencer, J, Schwaderer, A, McHugh, KM, and Hains, D. Pediatric Urinary Tract Infections: An Analysis of Hospitalizations, Charges and Costs in the USA. Pediatric Nephrology, 25:2469-2475, 2010.

Sims-Lucas S, Argyropoulos C, Kish K, McHugh K, Bertram JF, Quigley R, and Bates CM.  3-Dimensional Technique Reveals New Ureteric and Mesenchymal Defects in Fgfr2 Mutant Kidneys. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 20: 2525-33, 2009.

Hains D, Sims-Lucas S, Kish K, Saha M, McHugh KM, and Bates CM. Role of Fibroblastic Growth Factor 2 in Kidney Mesenchyme. Pediatric Research, 64:592-8, 2008.

Saha, M, Ingraham, SE, Carpenter, A, Robinson, M, McHugh, KE, Singh, S, Robinson, ML and McHugh, KM Identification of Distinct Myocardin Splice Variants in the Bladder, Journal of Urology, 182:766-775, 2008.

Singh S, Robinson M, Nahi F, Coley B, Robinson M, Bates C, Kornacker K, and McHugh KM. Identification of a Unique Transgenic Mouse Line that Develops Megabladder, Obstructive Uropathy, and Renal Dysfunction, Journal American Society of Nephrology, 18:461-471, 2007.

Auer H, Newsom D, Nowak N, McHugh K, Singh S, Yu C-Y, Yang Y, Wenger G, Gastier-Foster J, and Kornacher K. Gene-resolution Analysis of DNA Copy Number Variation using Oligonucleotide Expression Microarrays. BMC Genomics, 8:1-13, 2007.

Singh S, Robinson M, Ismail I, Saha M, Auer H, Kornacker K, Robinson M, Bates C, and McHugh KM. Transcriptional Profiling of the Megabladder Mouse - A Unique Model of Bladder Dysmorphogenesis. Developmental Dynamics, 237:170-186, 2007.

Schwaderer A, Bates C, McHugh K, McBride K. Renal Anomalies in Family Members of Infants with Bilateral Renal Agenesis/Adysplasia, Pediatric Nephrology 22:52-56, 2006.