The National Kidney Foundation supports early-career researchers in the United States through its Satellite Dialysis Clinical Investigator Grant and Young Investigator Grants. Applications for the 2016 round of grants are now being accepted.
If you are interested in applying, please visit the NKF Research Grants page for more information about eligibility and application instructions. The application deadline is February 12, 2016.
What does it take to be an NKF grantee? Below is a snapshot of the 2015 Research Grant recipients. From developing stem cell–based disease models to mapping how sleep patterns relate to GFR, these renal researchers are at the forefront of NKF’s efforts to find new ways to prevent and treat kidney disease.
Satellite Dialysis Clinical Investigator Grant
Olfaction and Taste in Chronic Kidney Disease
Katherine Lynch, MD, junior faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, seeks to understand how the senses of smell and taste change in patients with non-dialysis-dependent CKD, and how such changes may relate to malnutrition. “Impairments in smell and taste have been linked with decreased appetite and food intake and can decrease the quality of life for affected patients,” says Dr Lynch in NKF materials, “The ability to smell and taste declines with age, but patients with chronic kidney disease tend to have earlier and greater decline in these senses than patients without kidney disease.” [read more about Dr Lynch’s research]
Young Investigator Grants
Depicting Glomerular Cell Crosstalk in Glomerulosclerosis
Ilse Daehn, PhD, an Assistant Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, is using transcriptional profiling to examine intercellular interactions tied to glomerular dysfunction.“We think that preventing dysfunction of kidney cells, particularly glomerular endothelial cells, is key to stopping kidney disease before it reaches the point of no return,” said Dr Daehn at the time of her award. She hopes her research may reveal novel drug targets. [read more about Dr Daehn’s research]
Modeling PKD Using Genome Editing in Human iPS Cells
Benjamin Freedman, PhD, based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is working to develop an in vitro model system for studying PKD using stem cells derived from PKD patients. In comments to the NKF, Dr Freedman characterized this “kidney-in-a-dish” model as allowing an inside view into how PKD and cysts develop, saying “This process will allow us to determine the cellular basis for PKD complications and determine whether they can be alleviated therapeutically.” [read more about Dr.’s Freedman research]
Sleep Restriction and Renal Function
Ciaran McMullan, MD, also at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is investigating whether more sleep and melatonin supplementation can improve kidney function. As Dr McMullan put it in an NKF release about the award, “Kidney function is actually regulated by the sleep-wake cycle. It helps coordinate the kidneys’ workload over 24 hours. We also know that nocturnal patterns can affect chronic kidney disease and that people who sleep less usually have faster kidney function decline. What we’re doing now is looking at the specific hormones that may be behind these declines.” [read more about Dr McMullan’s research]
Dynamics of H2O2 Release in Salt-Sensitive Hypertension
Oleg Palygin, PhD, Assistant Professor as the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, is a neurophysiologist by training whose project investigates mechanisms of reactive oxygen species signalling in controlling sodium homeostasis and arterial blood pressure. In the context of a high-salt diet, chronic elevations in medullary concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are implicated in renal injury in animal models. Dr Palygin’s work seeks to better characerize the signalling pathways involved, potentially enabling the identification of new therapeutic targets.