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Amber Molnar, MD

Supervisors: Dr. Greg Knoll and Dr. Carl van Walraven
Award: KRESCENT Fellowship
Institution: University of Ottawa
Year: 2013-2015

Dr. Amber Molnar obtained her M.D. at the University of Saskatchewan and is currently pursuing her master’s in clinical epidemiology at the University of Ottawa. She will complete her post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Greg Knoll and Dr. Carl van Walraven at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Her study will focus on how an episode of kidney failure impacts the risk of transplant failure or death among individuals with a kidney transplant.

The number of Canadians being treated for kidney failure has tripled over the last 20 years. A kidney transplant is often considered the best treatment for these patients, allowing them to live longer and with a greater quality of life than experienced on dialysis. Unfortunately, a transplanted kidney will fail after an average of approximately 10-15 years, forcing patients to return to dialysis. A better understanding of transplant failure is needed in order to increase the life span of transplanted kidneys.

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), a rapid loss of kidney function, is one cause of kidney failure. While the causes of AKI are numerous, common causes include severe infection or heart attack. Dr. Molnar’s study will closely examine the relationship between episodes of AKI resulting in death or the failure of a kidney transplant over time. The study will review the healthcare records of kidney transplant patients who suffered an episode of AKI to determine whether patients with AKI experienced failure of their kidney transplant or death sooner than patients without AKI. The study will also examine the characteristics that increase the risk of death or transplant failure among kidney transplant patients that experience AKI.

Findings will support doctors working on the prevention or treatment of AKI, as well as improve the monitoring of patients after an acute episode. Dr. Molnar believes that a better understanding of why kidney transplants fail over time will contribute to longer-lasting kidney transplantation.