Kidney story

Funding injection sees outlook improve for patients with kidney disease

Two George Institute researchers have been awarded funding by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to help make it easier to test new treatments for different forms of kidney disease.

Dr Ying Amanda Wang, Senior Research Fellow in the Renal and Metabolic Division at The Institute, has been awarded the RACP’s 2021 Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship with a $90,000 funding boost for her work to improve acute kidney injury outcomes.

The Jacquot Awards, co-administered by the RACP and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology, support nephrologists wishing to establish or pursue a research career for the treatment and management of renal disease.

Dr Wang, who is a consultant nephrologist and general physician, said that while medical understanding of acute kidney injury had transformed over the last twenty years, there are still no treatments proven to improve patient outcomes.

“We now know that acute kidney injury doesn’t just get better – it has a long term and wide-ranging impact on health,” she said.

“There are a number of promising treatments under development, but they will all need to be tested in clinical trials to see how effective they are.

“My research aims to help build a world-leading clinical trials capability for acute kidney injury in Australia that will see our patients at the forefront of advances in treatments.”

Dr Sradha Kotwal, Research Fellow at The George Institute and senior lecturer at the University of NSW, has been awarded a 2021 RACP Research Establishment Fellowship with a $50,000 boost for her work in chronic kidney disease (CKD). The funding will allow for the development and expansion of two initiatives to facilitate larger national and international clinical trials to improve treatment options for people with CKD.

“There is no network for kidney diseases that currently operates on an Australian or international scale allowing researchers to conduct major trials in this area of medicine,” said Dr Kotwal.

“My program of work will develop such a network in Australia and globally.”

The Global Kidney Patient Trial Network is an international, prospective, observational registry-style cohort of people with CKD who are willing to participate in clinical trials.

The newly established Glomerular Disease Registry and Biobank will also benefit from the funding. It will capture and store DNA and blood samples for future research and will allow the development of precision medicine approaches for patients.

Dr Kotwal is a nephrologist at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney Australia.