Wei Ling Lau

Picture of Wei Ling Lau
Associate Professor In-Residence; Interim Chief of Division of Nephrology, Hypertension & Kidney Transplantation; Department of Medicine
School of Medicine
M.D., Washington University (St. Louis, MO), 2005
Internal Medicine residency, UC Irvine, 2008
Nephrology fellowship, University of Washington (Seattle, WA), 2012
Phone: (714) 456-5142
Fax: (714) 456-6034
Email: wllau@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
333 City Boulevard West
Suite 400
Mail Code: 4088
Orange, CA 92868
Research Interests
Vascular calcification, gut microbiome, brain microbleeds, and chronic inflammation in chronic kidney disease.
Academic Distinctions
Double Board Certified in Nephrology and Internal Medicine

Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology (FASN) 2018-present

Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) 2019-present

Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP) 2019-present

Southern California Rising Star 2018-2020 (www.superdoctors.com)

UC Irvine Health Patient Experience Award 2018: Recognized as a top 20 doctor for achieving outstanding results in patient communications.

Southern California Super Doctor 2023-2024

Site PI for clinical trials:
2016: ZS Pharma PORTEND study in hemodialysis patients
2017-2018: NIH-funded BioPD study in peritoneal dialysis patients
2020-ongoing: KBindER (Comparison of Potassium Binders in the ER)

Faculty speaker:
July 2015: Probiotics Summit (San Francisco, CA)
Nov 2015: American Society of Nephrology Annual Kidney Week (San Diego, CA)
May 2017: Cardiorenal University (Anaheim, CA)
Feb 2019: AHA/ASA International Stroke Conference (Honolulu, HI)
Nov 2019: American Society of Nephrology Annual Kidney Week (Washington DC)
May 2020: Brain-Kidney 2020 Symposium (virtual meeting; Co-Chair)
Oct 2020: American Society of Nephrology Annual Kidney Week (virtual meeting)
2015-ongoing: Associate Medical Director for Peritoneal Dialysis, Fresenius University Dialysis Center of Orange
2017-ongoing: university ethics committee (scientific member)
2020-2024: Member At Large on the Leadership Committee of the Council on The Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease (KCVD), American Heart Association
2021-ongoing: Volunteer physician, Lestonnac Free Clinic
2021-ongoing: Faculty for UCI School of Medicine 1st year Physiology course (renal physiology)
Research Abstract
Chronic kidney disease is a state of accelerated aging which includes chronic inflammation, vascular calcification and mineral/bone abnormalities. In collaboration with Neurology colleagues, we are studying mechanisms of cerebral microbleed formation in models of chronic kidney disease. Another research interest pertains to the altered gut microbiome and how intestinal bacteria generate toxins that act systemically to cause cardiovascular disease.
Selected publications

1. Lau WL, Festing MH, Giachelli CM. Phosphate and vascular calcification: Emerging role of the sodium-phosphate cotransporter PiT-1 (review). Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2010; 104(3): 464-470.

2. Lau WL, Pai A, Moe SM, Giachelli CM. Direct effects of phosphate on vascular cell function (review). Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease 2011; 18(2): 105-112.

3. Lau WL, Leaf EM, Hu MC, Takeno MM, Kuro-o M, Moe OW, Giachelli CM. Vitamin D receptor agonists increase klotho and osteopontin while decreasing aortic calcification in mice with chronic kidney disease fed a high phosphate diet. Kidney International 2012; 82(12): 1261-1270.

4. Lau WL, Linnes M, Chu EY, Foster BL, Bartley BA, Somerman MJ, Giachelli CM. High phosphate feeding promotes mineral and bone abnormalities in mice with chronic kidney disease. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 2013; 28(1): 62-69.

5. Scialla JJ*, Lau WL*, Reilly MP, Isakova T, Yang HY, Crouthamel MH, Chavkin NW, Rahman M, Wahl P, Amaral AP, Hamano T, Master SR, Nessel L, Chai B, Xie D, Kallem RR, Chen J, Lash JP, Kusek JW, Budoff MJ, Giachelli CM, Wolf M. Fibroblast growth factor 23 is not associated with and does not induce arterial calcification. Kidney International 2013; 83(6): 1159-1168. *contributed equally

6. Lau WL and Ix JH. Clinical detection, risk factors, and cardiovascular consequences of medial arterial calcification: A pattern of vascular injury associated with aberrant mineral metabolism (review). Seminars in Nephrology 2013; 33(2): 93-105.

7. Lertdumrongluk P, Lau WL, Park J, Rhee CM, Kovesdy CP, Kalantar-Zadeh K. Impact of age on survival predictability of bone turnover markers in hemodialysis patients. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 2013; 28(10): 2535-45.

8. Streja E*, Lau WL*, Goldstein L, Sim JJ, Molnar MZ, Nissenson AR, Kovesdy CP, Kalantar-Zadeh K. Hyperphosphatemia is a combined function of high serum PTH and high dietary protein intake in dialysis patients. Kidney Int Suppl 2013 Dec;3(5):462-468. *contributed equally

9. Crouthamel MH*, Lau WL*, Leaf EM, Chavkin NW, Wallingford MC, Peterson DF, Li X, Liu Y, Chin MT, Levi M, Giachelli CM. Sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporters and phosphate-induced calcification of vascular smooth muscle cells: Redundant roles for PiT-1 and PiT-2. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 2013; 33(11): 2625-32. *contributed equally.

10. Li L, Lau WL, Rhee CM, Harley K, Kovesdy CP, Sim JJ, Jacobsen S, Chang A, Landman J, Kalantar-Zadeh K. Risk of chronic kidney disease after cancer nephrectomy. Nature Reviews in Nephrology 2014 Mar;10(3):135-45.

11. Streja E, Wang HY, Lau WL, Molnar MZ, Kovesdy CP, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Park J. Mortality of combined serum phosphorus and parathyroid hormone concentrations and their changes over time in hemodialysis patients. Bone 2014 Apr;61:201-7.

12. Lau WL, Liu S, Vaziri ND. Chronic kidney disease results in deficiency of ABCC6, the novel inhibitor of vascular calcification. Am J Nephrol. 2014;40(1):51-5.

13. Lau WL, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Kovesdy CP, Mehrotra R. Alkaline phosphatase: better than PTH as a marker of cardiovascular and bone disease? (editorial) Hemodial Int. 2014 Oct;18(4):720-4.

14. Lau WL, Liu SM, Pahlevan S, Yuan J, Khazaeli M, Ni Z, Chan JY, Vaziri ND. Role of Nrf2 dysfunction in uremia-associated intestinal inflammation and epithelial barrier disruption. Dig Dis Sci. 2015 May;60(5):1215-22.

15. Li L, Fisher M, Lau WL, Moradi H, Cheung A, Thai G, Handwerker J, Kalantar-Zadeh K. Cerebral microbleeds and cognitive decline in a hemodialysis patient: Case report and review of literature. Hemodial Int. 2015 Jul;19(3):E1-7.

16. Lau WL, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Vaziri ND. The Gut as a Source of Inflammation in Chronic Kidney Disease (review). Nephron. 2015;130:92-8.

17. Mathew A, Obi Y, Rhee CM, Chen JL, Shah G, Lau WL, Kovesdy CP, Mehrotra R, Kalantar-Zadeh K. Treatment frequency and mortality among incident hemodialysis patients in the United States comparing incremental with standard and more frequent dialysis. Kidney Int. 2016 Nov;90(5):1071-1079.

18. Lau WL, Huisa BN, Fisher M. The Cerebrovascular-Chronic Kidney Disease Connection: Perspectives and Mechanisms (review). Transl Stroke Res. 2017 Feb;8(1):67-76.

19. Lau WL, Vaziri ND. Urea, a true uremic toxin: the empire strikes back (review). Clin Sci (Lond). 2017 Jan 1;131(1):3-12.

20. Chang Y, Lau WL, Jo H, Tsujino K, Gewin L, Reed NI, Atakilit A, Nunes AC, DeGrado WF, Sheppard D. Pharmacologic blockade of avß1 integrin ameliorates renal failure and fibrosis in vivo. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Jul;28(7):1998-2005.

21. Lin MC, Streja E, Soohoo M, Hanna M, Savoj J, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Lau WL. Warfarin Use and Increased Mortality in End-Stage Renal Disease. Am J Nephrol. 2017;46(4):249-256.

22. Lau WL, Khazaeli M, Savoj J, Manekia K, Bangash M, Thakurta RG, Dang A, Vaziri ND, Singh B. Dietary tetrahydrocurcumin reduces renal fibrosis and cardiac hypertrophy in 5/6 nephrectomized rats. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2018 Feb 19;6(2):e00385.

23. Lau WL, Savoj J, Nakata MB, Vaziri ND. Altered microbiome in chronic kidney disease: systemic effects of gut-derived uremic toxins (review). Clin Sci (Lond). 2018 Mar 9;132(5):509-522.

24. Lau WL, Lin HY, Wang PH. Urine mitochondrial DNA and diabetic nephropathy - A new frontier (editorial). Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2018 May 1;33(5):719-721.

25. Lau WL, Obi Y, Kalantar-Zadeh K. Parathyroidectomy in the Management of Secondary Hyperparathyroidism (review). Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 Jun 7;13(6):952-961.

26. Lau WL, Vaziri ND, Nunes AC, Comeau AM, Langille MG, England W, Khazaeli M, Suematsu Y, Phan J, Whiteson K. The phosphate binder ferric citrate alters the gut microbiome in rats with chronic kidney disease. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2018 Dec;367(3):452-460.

27. Savoj J, Becerra B, Kim JK, Fusaro M, Gallieni M, Lombardo D, Lau WL. Utility of cardiac biomarkers in the setting of kidney disease (review). Nephron. 2019 Feb 6:1-9.

28. Lau WL, Vaziri ND. Gut microbial short-chain fatty acids and the risk of diabetes (editorial). Nat Rev Nephrol. 2019 Jul;15(7):389-390.

29. Lau WL, Nunes ACF, Vasilevko V, Floriolli D, Lertpanit L, Savoj J, Bangash M, Yao Z, Shah K, Naqvi S, Paganini-Hill A, Vaziri ND, Cribbs D, Fisher M: Chronic kidney disease increases cerebral microbleeds in mouse and man. Transl Stroke Res. 2020 Feb;11(1):122-134. Link: rdcu.be/bAkzs

30. Lau WL, Liang C, Liu H, Singh K, Mukherjee J. Development of zirconium-89 PET for in vivo imaging of alpha-klotho. Am J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2020;10(2):95-105.

31. Lau WL, Fisher M, Greenia D, Floriolli D, Fletcher E, Singh B, Sajjadi S, Corrada M, Whittle C, Kawas C, Paganini-Hill A. Cystatin C, Cognition and Brain MRI Findings in 90+ Year-olds. Neurobiol Aging. 2020 Apr 29;93:78-84.

32. Choi G, Kimonis V, Hall K, Lau WL. Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Cancer (HLRCC): Report of a Family Pedigree. Am J Med Sci. 2020 Dec;360(6):724-727.

33. Sumida K, Lau WL, Kovesdy CP, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Kalantar-Zadeh K. Microbiome modulation as a novel therapeutic approach in chronic kidney disease. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2021 Jan;30(1):75-84.

34. Lau WL, Zuckerman JE, Gupta A, Kalantar-Zadeh K. The COVID-Kidney Controversy: Can SARS-CoV-2 Cause Direct Renal Infection? Nephron. 2021 Feb 18:1-5.

35. Lau WL. Controversies: Stroke Prevention in Chronic Kidney Disease. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2021 Sep;30(9):105679.

36. Choi B, Crouzet C, Lau WL, Cribbs DH, Fisher MJ. Cerebral Blood Flow in Chronic Kidney Disease. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2021 Sep;30(9):105702.

37. Sy J, Hsiung JT, Edgett D, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Streja E, Lau WL. Cardiovascular and Bleeding Outcomes with Anticoagulants across Kidney Disease Stages: Analysis of a National US Cohort. Am J Nephrol. 2021 Mar 31:1-10.

38. Lau WL, Fisher M, Fletcher E, DeCarli C, Troutt H, Corrada MM, Kawas C, Paganini-Hill A. Kidney Function Is Not Related to Brain Amyloid Burden on PET Imaging in The 90+ Study Cohort. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021;8:671945.

39. Lau WL, Chang Y, Vaziri ND. The consequences of altered microbiota in immune-related chronic kidney disease (review). Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2021 Sep 27;36(10):1791-1798.

40. Chantaduly C, Troutt HR, Perez Reyes KA, Zuckerman JE, Chang PD, Lau WL. Artificial Intelligence assessment of Renal Scarring (AIRS study). Kidney360. 2021 Nov; https://doi.org/10.34067/KID.0003662021

41. Briguori C, Mathew RO, Huang Z, Mavromatis K, Hickson LJ, Lau WL, Mathew A, Mahajan S, Wheeler DC, Claes KJ, Chen G, Nolasco FEB, Stone GW, Fleg JL, Sidhu MS, Rockhold FW, Chertow GM, Hochman JS, Maron DJ, Bangalore S. Dialysis Initiation in Patients With Chronic Coronary Disease and Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease in ISCHEMIA-CKD. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 Mar 15;11(6):e022003. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.022003.

42. Fang C, Lau WL, Sun J, Chang R, Vallejo A, Lee D, Liu J, Liu H, Hung YH, Zhao Y, Paganini-Hill A, Sumbria RK, Cribbs DH, Fisher M. Chronic kidney disease promotes cerebral microhemorrhage formation. J Neuroinflammation. 2023 Feb 25;20(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s12974-023-02703-2.

43. Cañas AE, Troutt HR, Jiang L, Tonthat S, Darwish O, Ferrey A, Lotfipour S, Kalantar-Zadeh K, Hanna R, Lau WL. A randomized study to compare oral potassium binders in the treatment of acute hyperkalemia. BMC Nephrol. 2023 Apr 5;24(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s12882-023-03145-x.

44. Khazaeli M, Nunes ACF, Zhao Y, Khazaali M, Prudente J, Vaziri ND, Singh B, Lau WL. Tetrahydrocurcumin Add-On therapy to losartan in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy decreases blood pressure and markers of kidney injury. Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2023 Apr;11(2):e01079. doi: 10.1002/prp2.1079.
T32 DK007467 (Nephrology training grant), University of Washington 2009-2011 === T32 HL007828 (Cardiovascular training grant), University of Washington 2011-2012 === Sanofi/Genzyme Fellowship Award 2012-2014 === UCI School of Medicine Early Career Stage Research Award 2015-2016 === UCI School of Medicine Junior Faculty Research Grant 2015-2016 === American Heart Association Innovative Research Grant 2017-2019 === NIH NINDS R01 NS20989 2018-2023 (co-I) === UCI Dpt of Medicine Chair Research Award 2019 and 2023 === Samueli pilot award 2021-2022 === NIH NINDS R01 NS113337 2019-2024 (PI)
Professional Societies
Fellow, American Society of Nephrology
Fellow, American Heart Association
Fellow, American College of Physicians
Research Centers
Medical Sciences I, room C362, UC Irvine main campus
OptumLabs visiting fellow 2018-2019
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