Hatim Hassan

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Section of Nephrology
University of Chicago

Hatim A. Hassan obtained his MD degree from the University Of Khartoum Medical School in Sudan and his PhD from Yale University Investigative Medicine Program. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. Dr. Hassan’s research focuses on regulation of intestinal oxalate transport by different neurohumoral factors and probiotic bacteria. Hyperoxaluria is a major risk factor for kidney stones and has no specific therapy, although Oxalobacter formigenes colonization is associated with reduced stone risk. O. formigenes interacts with colonic epithelium and induces colonic oxalate secretion, thereby reducing urinary oxalate excretion, via an unknown secretagogue. The difficulties in sustaining O. formigenes colonization underscore the need to identify the derived factors inducing colonic oxalate secretion. Dr. Hassan’s lab had shown that O. formigenes-derived bioactive factors in its culture conditioned medium (CM) significantly stimulate oxalate transport (>2.4-fold) by human intestinal Caco2-BBE (C2) cells.  In a mouse model of primary hyperoxaluria type 1, rectal administration of O. formigenes CM significantly reduced (>32.5%) urinary oxalate excretion and stimulated (>42%) distal colonic oxalate secretion. The fact that these factors retain their biological activity in vivo and can effectively reduce urinary oxalate excretion in hyperoxaluric mice reflects their significant potential to serve as novel therapeutic agents for prevention and/or treatment of hyperoxaluria, hyperoxalemia, and related kidney stones, and the lab has already made remarkable progress towards characterization of these factors.