Dr. Banek’s research program studies the physiological underpinnings of high blood pressure (i.e. hypertension), in addition to other cardiovascular and kidney diseases. His research aims to elucidate the detailed mechanisms of the peripheral nervous system in cardiovascular and renal disease to provide a translational platform for development and refinement of emerging pharmacological and surgery-based therapies.
Dr. Banek's research is focused on the neurophysiological underpinnings of cardiovascular and renal disease. He has a broad training background in cardio-renal physiology and neuroscience, and a specific expertise in neural-mediated essential hypertension and renal inflammation. His team is currently investigating the contributions of renal sympathetic and sensory nerves to hypertension, polycystic kidney disease, and chronic kidney disease development and maintenance. His previous and ongoing work in hypertension has laid the groundwork for the role of renal sensory nerves in renal and cardiovascular disease etiology, which he aims to expand to other renal disease models such as polycystic kidney disease. One current target is polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and developing a new line of treatment and research for this debilitating disease with limited treatment options. Dr. Banek is also very passionate about mentorship and teaching at all levels. Many of his trainees have gone on to careers in academic and industry, and his numerous undergraduate trainees have pursued higher-level MD and/or PhD degrees.