Skip to main content

Dr. Susan Samuel, M.D.

Award: KRESCENT New Investigator Award, Co-funded with CCHCSP
Institution: University of Calgary
Year: 2011-2014

Dr. Susan Samuel obtained her M.D. from the University of British Columbia and is a new investigator at the University of Calgary. Dr. Samuel’s research program is focused on children with kidney disease, and she is especially interested in the factors that cause death and disability among children with kidney failure.

Children with kidney failure are 30 times more likely to die than healthy children. In order to provide children with kidney failure the best chance for survival we need to identify patient-related and health care system-related risk factors for death and disability and identify groups of children who are at highest risk of death and disability. The data collected will be analyzed in order to direct future studies and guide the testing of strategies used to prevent death and disability. As part of her research Dr. Samuel will also study a difficult time in the life of a person with childhood onset kidney disease: the period of transition from childhood to adulthood and the transfer of medical care from child-oriented to adult-oriented healthcare services. It is thought that this transition period is dangerous because teenagers in general may engage in risk taking behaviour such as refusing to take their medications, not attending clinic appointments or not seeking medical attention at the appropriate time. Dr. Samuel’s project aims to evaluate the risks associated with this transition period by looking at key variables that signal danger such as hospital admissions to the intensive care unit. The data obtained from this research study will help healthcare practitioners who care for patients with childhood onset kidney failure determine the best time to transfer a teenage patient to adult-oriented healthcare services and will also help determine whether extra support is needed once juvenile patients are transferred to adult hospitals.