KRESCENT Trainees to Present at the Canadian Society of Nephrology 2014


KRESCENT trainees to present at the CSN 2014 in Vancouver, BC

View the list of presentations.


 
 

 

 



KRESCENT Trainees to Present at the American Society of Nephrology 2013


KRESCENT trainees to present at the ASN 2013 in San Diego, California

View the list of presentations.


 
 

 

 




KRESCENT Trainees to Present at the American Society of Nephrology 2012


KRESCENT trainees to present at the ASN 2012 in San Diego, California

View the list of presentations.


 
 

 

 



 

People who get kidney stones are twice as likely to develop kidney failure: U of A medical research

September 6, 2012 - (Edmonton) People who have had kidney stones are twice as likely to need dialysis or kidney transplants later in life, demonstrates recently published findings by medical researchers at the Universityof Alberta. Their article was recently published in the British Medical Journal.

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researchers Todd Alexander and Marcello Tonelli tracked data of more than three million Albertans over an 11-year period from 1997 to 2009. They discovered those with a history of kidney stones were twice as likely to have serious kidney problems later in life when compared to people who had never suffered from kidney stones. And women under the age of 50 who had a history of kidney stones were four times as likely to later develop kidney failure. Although the actual number of those who developed kidney failure was small, the link to having a history of kidney stones was noteworthy.

“I think what these results tell me, is that we should be screening those with a history of kidney stones for risk factors for the development of kidney disease,” says Alexander, the study’s first author and a practising pediatric nephrologist.

“I am not surprised by these findings because when you are passing a stone through a kidney, there is definitely the potential for permanent damage.”

Based on their findings, between five and seven per cent of Albertans will develop a kidney stone in their lifetime, says Alexander. The data is more alarming in theUnited Stateswhere 10 to 11 per cent of the population develops kidney stones. Half of those who get kidney stones will have a reoccurrence – anywhere from one to several more episodes.

“It’s important to note that the vast majority of people with kidney stones won’t develop permanent kidney damage,” adds Tonelli. “But a few will, and that’s why it’s important for people with stones to get proper follow-up care – to reduce their risk of another stone, and to detect kidney damage if it has occurred.”

People could try to decrease the likelihood of the development of kidney stones by decreasing their sodium intake, drinking more water and, if needed, taking certain medication. It has been previously observed that those who develop kidney stones have kidneys that don’t function at optimal levels, which is a factor in the whole issue. 

Alexander is a researcher in the Department of Physiology and the Department of Pediatrics, while Tonelli holds a Canada Research Chair in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Nephrology.

The primary funders of the research were: The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, the University Hospital Foundation, and the KRESCENT program (a training and support program for kidney research scientists).

“We are proud to support outstanding and innovative research that helps us to improve our understanding of the possible risk factors for developing kidney failure,” said Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Alexander and Tonelli are continuing their research in kidney health.

For more information, please contact:

Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research, The Kidney Foundation of Canada

514-531-2212 (cell.) wim.wolfs@kidney.ca

 

Incidence and causes of end-stage renal disease among Aboriginal children and young adults

 August 31, 2012-  The Pediatric Renal Outcomes Canada Group (PROCG) led by Dr. Susan Samuel from the University of Calgary, has published a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal evaluating the incidence rates and causes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) among Aboriginal children and young adults compared to white Canadians.

“We do know that Aboriginal Canadians have a higher rate of ESRD, generally due to the higher risk of diabetes, compared to white Canadians”, stated Dr. Samuel, “but we do not know if this is also true for Aboriginal children and young adults”.

They studied the Canadian Organ Replacement Register data for 980 pediatric and young adult patients, less than 22 years old, in Canada between 1992 and 2007.

The researchers reported that:

  • Aboriginal children and young adults have a significantly higher incidence of ESRD than white children and young adults in Canada
  • ESRD due to congenital malformations of the kidney and urinary tract was less likely in Aboriginal children and young adults compared to white children and young adults in Canada
  • Glomerulonephritis (a type of kidney disease in which the glomeruli, the tiny filters in the kidneys that help to clean the blood become inflamed or damaged) was more common in Aboriginal children and young adults than white children and young adults in Canada 

They believe the same socioeconomic and health disparities to poor health outcomes among Aboriginal adults might also cause increased risk of progression to ESRD in Aboriginal children and young adults.

“This is an important research” says Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. “These findings raise the question of why the increased risk of glomerulonephritis is happening among Aboriginal children and youth, and this will encourage us to further study the reasons for the higher risk of this disease contributing to this outcome”.

Link to article: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2012/08/27/cmaj.120427.abstract

For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research (514) 531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca

 

Diets high in salt deplete calcium in the body

July 25, 2012- The scientific community has always wanted to know why people who eat high-salt diets are prone to developing medical problems such as kidney stones and osteoporosis. Medical researchers at the University of Alberta may have solved this puzzle.

Principal investigator Todd Alexander and his team recently discovered an important link between sodium and calcium. These both appear to be regulated by the same molecule in the body. When sodium intake becomes too high, the body gets rid of sodium via the urine, taking calcium with it, which depletes calcium stores in the body. High levels of calcium in the urine lead to the development of kidney stones, while inadequate levels of calcium in the body lead to thin bones and osteoporosis.

 “When the body tries to get rid of sodium via the urine, our findings suggest the body also gets rid of calcium at the same time,” says Alexander, a Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher whose findings were recently published in the peer-reviewed journal American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology.

“This is significant because we are eating more and more sodium in our diets, which means our bodies are getting rid of more and more calcium. Our findings reinforce why it is important to have a low-sodium diet and why it is important to have lower sodium levels in processed foods.”

It’s been known for a long time that this important molecule was responsible for sodium absorption in the body, but the discovery that it also plays a role in regulating calcium levels is new.

“We asked a simple question with our research – could sodium and calcium absorption be linked? And we discovered they are,” says Alexander.

“We found a molecule that seems to have two jobs – regulating the levels of both calcium and sodium in the body. Our findings provide very real biological evidence that this relationship between sodium and calcium is real and linked.”

In their research, the team worked with lab models that didn’t have this important molecule, so the models’ urine contained high levels of calcium. Because calcium was not absorbed and retained by the body, bones became thin.

A journal editorial written about this research discovery noted the molecule could be a drug target to one day “treat kidney stones and osteoporosis.”

The primary funder of the research was the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

“We are proud to support the research of Dr. Todd Alexander,” said Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Data in theUnited Statesshows that nearly 10% of adults will have a kidney stone at least once in their life. The prevalence of kidney stones also seems to be increasing in theU.S., which may be attributed to high rates of obesity and diabetes, along with possibly increased salt intake.”

For more information, please contact:

Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
514-369-4806, ext. 252 (office); 514-531-2212 (cell); wim.wolfs@kidney.ca

View the article in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology.

View recent coverage of this publication in the Globe and Mail

 

Should you donate a kidney to a relative or someone in the community?

May 29, 2012 - In a recent article in Le Devoir, Dr. Marie-Chantal Fortin, a nephrologist on Notre-Dame Hospital’s transplant team and recent KRESCENT fellowship recipient, considered the ethical issues surrounding the recruitment of compatible donor-recipient pairs for Canada’s Living Donor Paired Exchange (LDPE) kidney registry, which is coordinated by Canadian Blood Services.

Dr. Fortin’s research project weighs the ethical issues surrounding the recruitment of compatible donor-recipient pairs to come up with a set of ethical guidelines to govern the practice.

Read the full article (in French only), Donner un de ses reins à un proche parent ou à la collectivité ? Le dilemme at LeDevoir.com. 

 

 

KRESCENT Trainees to Present at the Canadian Society of Nephrology 2012

  Krescent trainees to present at the CSN 2012 in 
  St. John's, Newfoundland

  View the list of presentations

 

KRESCENT Trainees to Present at the American Society of Nephrology 2011

KRESCENT trainees to present at the ASN 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

View the list of presentations.


 
 

 

 



KRESCENT Fellow proposes a new model to predict
CKD progression

A study published in the April 11, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), by Dr. Navdeep Tangri and colleagues, proposes a new model to predict progression of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), one that is based on standard laboratory tests.

There are an estimated 2.6 million Canadians who have kidney disease, or at risk. This number can be considered too high to effectively monitor and treat using the currently accepted five stage, chronic kidney disease classification system.  Dr. Tangri and his colleagues consider that a better prediction model for identifying those people at the highest risk of developing CKD would be a tremendous step forward for kidney patients, health care professionals and the Canadian health system.

According to an accompanying JAMA editorial by Drs. Tonelli and Manns, a model to identify those at greatest risk would be valuable, but there are existing therapies to improve outcomes for people with kidney disease that are underused because, for instance, timely referral to a specialist is not being undertaken Such referral would be beneficial for “patients at highest risk of cardiovascular events and progressive kidney function loss”.

The Kidney Foundation is proud to support excellent Canadian researchers such as Dr. Navdeep Tangri, through the KRESCENT program.

The Kidney Research Scientist Core Education National Training (KRESCENT) Program focuses on the training of world class scientists. It was created in 2005 through a special contribution of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. A unique program, KRESCENT is characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum; career development support at the (post-) doctoral level including the first Faculty appointment and ongoing mentorship; and the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.
 
For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s research initiatives, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research at (514) 531-2212 (cell) or by email at wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/15/1553.abstract


KRESCENT Trainees to Present at the World Congress
of Nephrology 2011

KRESCENT trainees to present the WCN 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

View the list of presentations.


 
 

  

 



KRESCENT researcher Dr. Nina Jones is awarded
a Canada Research Chair

The KRESCENT Program would like to congratulate Dr. Nina Jones (University of Guelph) for being awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair. The Canada Research Chairs are intended to help universities attract and retain top researchers and make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. Awarded to potential world leaders in their field for a period of five years, each chair is worth $ 100,000 per year.

Dr. Jones is a New Investigator (grant awarded in 2007) in The Kidney Research Scientist Core Education National Training (KRESCENT) Program. The KRESCENT Program was created in 2005 through a special contribution of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The Program focuses on the training of world class scientists and supports researchers like Dr. Jones so they can dedicate time to study their area of focus. In the case of Dr. Jones, research is focused on the podocyte (a unit that filters the blood in the kidney).

“These [Research Chairs]  are prestigious awards”, said KRESCENT Program Director, Dr. Kevin Burns. “It shows that the Program is supporting excellent young researchers who will contribute to a better understanding of kidney function, which represents the first step to finding a possible cure for kidney disease.”

A unique program, KRESCENT is characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum; career development support at the (post-) doctoral level including the first Faculty appointment and ongoing mentorship; and the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.


KRESCENT Trainees to Present at ASN Renal Week 2010

KRESCENT trainees to present at the 43nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Exposition of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) in Denver, Colorado.

View the list of presentations.

 
 

  

 



Dr. Martin Pollak, supervisor of KRESCENT trainee
Moumita Barua, publishes in Science

Genes Linked to Kidney Disease in African Americans

A gene that appears to protect people from sleeping sickness in Africa also appears to make African Americans four times more likely to develop kidney disease, reported a group of researchers led by Dr. Martin Pollak.

Their findings shed light on why U.S. blacks are far more likely than whites to suffer from kidney disease and could potentially lead to new treatments or even preventive measures.

Read abstract
Read news releases
View podcast


Canadian Study Finds Chronic Kidney Disease Screening Could Increase Early Disease Management And Public Health

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn and colleagues of the Alberta Kidney Disease Network, the reporting of estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) – a measurement of the kidney’s ability to filter waste products -  increased first time visits to kidney specialists, especially for middle aged to elderly patients, patients with more severe kidney dysfunction and those with co-morbidities, such as hypertension and diabetes.

This news is notable because Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is an important and increasing public health problem that could be more effectively addressed and treated by early patient and physician awareness. In fact, early detection and appropriate interventions could stem chronic kidney disease progression - or even reverse it.

“An extremely important measurement of kidney function is estimated GFR”, says Paul Shay, National Executive Director, The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “ People at risk for kidney disease should know their GFR just as people at risk for cardiovascular disease know their blood pressure.”

A low GFR is an indication of reduced kidney function. Estimated GFR is calculated using a formula based on age, gender and the result of a blood test (serum creatinine) to estimate kidney function. Creatinine is a natural waste product of body muscle. High levels in the blood or serum tests coupled with other risk factors, is an important indicator of an individual’s kidney health or possible kidney damage.

This Canadian study, funded by the Kidney Foundation of Canada and the KRESCENT Program and published in March 2010, is based on information of more than 1,000,000 adults in a province-wide (Alberta) database. The same research group published an earlier study, showed that a lower eGFR is associated with an increased risk of negative outcomes (see story “Reduced kidney function with proteinuria associated with increased risk of kidney failure) Together these studies underscore that CKD is common and requires referral to a specialist.

The Kidney Research Scientist Core Education National Training (KRESCENT) Program focuses on the training of world class scientists.
It was created in 2005 through a special contribution of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. A unique program, KRESCENT is characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum; career development support at the (post-) doctoral level including the first Faculty appointment and ongoing mentorship; and the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.
 
For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research (514) 531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca

View the article in Journal of American Medical Association


Dr. Andrew Levey, supervisor of KRESCENT
Trainee Navdeep Tangri, Donates a Kidney

 

A Kidney Transplant Turns the Doctors into Patients

 
Dr. Andrew Levey, a leading nephrologist at Tufts University in Boston, has thoroughly described for hundreds of patients what to expect following a kidney transplant operation. These days, however, Levey speaks with a different authority–the expertise of one who’s walked in their shoes himself. Read Article.


Reduced Kidney Function with Proteinuria Associated
With Increased Risk of Kidney Failure  

Patients with high levels of  protein in the urine (proteinuria) coupled with at least one other marker of reduced kidney function had a higher risk of death, heart attack and progression to kidney failure according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) co-authored by Dr. Matthew James. Dr. James is a Post-Doctoral Fellowship recipient of the landmark Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) Program made possible by The Kidney Foundation and a team of collaborators.

This Canadian study, published in February 2010, is based on information from nearly a million (902,985) adults in a province-wide (Alberta) database and proves significant for both its size and findings. Current guidelines for the classification and staging of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are based on estimated glomerular filtration rate or eGFR (a measure of the severity of kidney damage) without explicit consideration of the severity of coexistent proteinuria. The authors note: ''our findings do suggest that risk stratification performed in terms of eGFR alone is relatively insensitive to clinically relevant gradients in risk.''

Presently, chronic kidney disease is classified in five (5) different stages based on eGFR. This classification scheme has been very helpful in educating both medical professionals and the general public on CKD incidence and the implications of CKD in terms of early identification and management of persons with the disease.

The five stage classification, however, has been questioned for not including the presence and severity of proteinuria, a condition in which urine contains an abnormal amount of protein. Proteinuria is an important indicator of CKD associated with negative outcomes.

Not everyone progresses from stage 1 to stage 5. Research is ongoing to better understand the factors that cause kidney failure and to identify individuals who are at particular risk for it.

“This is an important study,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “The Kidney Foundation is interested in a better understanding of chronic kidney disease. The study demonstrates the importance of proteinuria. The Kidney Foundation is proud to support relevant research and those who perform it. These kinds of findings contribute in a significant way to a pool of knowledge that cumulatively has practical implications for both clinical care and research.”

The KRESCENT Program was created through a special collaboration of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The KRESCENT Program focuses on the training of world class scientists. It is a unique program characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum, supports the career development at the (post-) doctoral level and the first Faculty appointment, with ongoing mentorship support, and fostering the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.

For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research (514) 531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca

View the article in Journal of American Medical Association


Acute Kidney Injury Increases Long-Term Risk of Death

Patients with sudden loss of kidney function, called acute kidney injury (AKI), are more likely to die prematurely after leaving the hospital—even if their kidney function has apparently recovered, according to a study published in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).and conducted by Dr. Jean-Philippe Lafrance, recipient of a KRESCENT Post Doctoral Fellowship recipient "Our study found that risk of death remains elevated long after the acute kidney injury," comments Dr. Lafrance, who has returned to the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal after finishing his Fellowship at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Dr. Lafrance, along with Dr. Donald R. Miller (also of Boston University School of Public Health), used a Veterans Affairs health database to analyze long-term outcomes in about 83,000 veterans with AKI. Patients with AKI have rapid deterioration in kidney function, resulting from many possible causes. More than half of patients with AKI need dialysis at least temporarily, and many die prior to leaving the hospital. The new study focused on AKI patients who did not need dialysis and who survived at least three months after leaving the hospital.

During an average two year follow-up, 30 percent of the AKI patients died compared to 16 percent of a group of patients without AKI. Researchers determined risk of death to be about 40 percent higher in the AKI group, even after adjusting for other factors including impaired kidney function following hospital discharge.   

The risk was even higher for patients with more severe AKI, as defined by severe declines in kidney function. Mortality risk was elevated even for patients whose kidney function returned to normal after AKI, as it did in more than half of cases. "Impaired kidney function following hospital discharge explained only part of the increased long-term mortality risk associated with AKI," said Lafrance.  

The study had several limitations: it used data collected for another purpose, did not include complete information on the serum creatinine test used to diagnose AKI, was mostly limited to men, and did not include information on causes of death. It also lacked data on the long-term risk of chronic kidney disease, a potential late complication of AKI.  

“The Foundation’s KRESCENT Program is a cutting edge initiative which focuses on the training of world class scientists,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Dr. Lafrance’s study is an excellent example of the kind of relevant clinical research our program supports that could have significant implications for medical practice and patient treatment.”

The KRESCENT Program was created through a special collaboration of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The KRESCENT Program focuses on the training of world class scientists. It is an unique program characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum, support the career development at the (post-) doctoral level and the first Faculty appointment, with ongoing mentorship support, and fostering the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.

For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation, call Wim Wolfs, Director National Research Program (514) 531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca

View Dr. Lafrance’s article in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.


KRESCENT Trainees Shine at ASN Renal Week 2009

KRESCENT trainees to present at the 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Exposition of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) view list of presentations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Adeera Levin appointed 2010 Secretary General
of International Society of Nephrology (ISN)

“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Adeera Levin on her nomination as President-Elect of the International Society of Nephrology,” said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Dr. Levin has been instrumental in the development of the Foundation’s Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) program, the cutting-edge training offered by the Kidney Foundation in collaboration with the Canadian Society of Nephrology, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and other stakeholders. Dr. Levin is currently Chair of the KRESCENT Curriculum Task Force.

Dr. Levin was awarded the Foundation’s the 2009 John B. Dossetor Mission Award – Research for services to kidney research. Dr. Levin has been a member of the Foundation’s National Board of Directors, Research Council and Biomedical Scientific Committee and she has also chaired the Foundation’s Fellowship and Scholarship Committee.

Dr. Adeera Levin will take her full responsibility as ISN Secretary General in early 2010. To view the announcement of her nomination, visit


Klotho Prevents Renal Calcium Loss

Klotho is a recently described hormone, which has been implicated in ageing. Two common characteristics of aging are decreased bone mineral density (thin bones) and the potential to develop kidney stones. Both of these processes are linked to alterations in calcium homeostasis, state of equilibrium, in individuals with advanced age. In a laboratory model, the lack of Klotho demonstrates many characteristics of human ageing including both thinner bones and kidney calcium deposits, suggesting a role for Klotho in calcium homeostasis. Our model demonstrated that Klotho is necessary to prevent the loss of calcium in urine. Evidence showed that renal loss of calcium contributes to increased vitamin D synthesis and contributes to thin bones. However, the kidney calcium deposits appear to be directly attributable to the lack of Klotho.

The methodology and rationale behind these studies provide the basis for further studies currently funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada and being carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Alexander at the University of Alberta. This new project “the molecular determinants of proximal tubular calcium absorption” seeks to unravel how the majority of calcium filtered by the glomerulus, is (re)absorbed by the first section of the renal tubule. This is the part of the kidney that appears to be abnormal in most individuals who demonstrate altered calcium handling.  View Abstract

The KRESCENT Program is a Strategic Training Program developed and supported by:

                                                    


With additional generous support from:

AMGEN               Baxter Corporation               Merck-Frosst Canada Ltd.             Ortho Biotech              RocheShire BioChem Inc.

© 2005 The Kidney Foundation of Canada