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Dec 5, 2022

Dr. York Pei Awarded The Kidney Foundation’s Medal for Research Excellence

Dr. York Pei was presented The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Medal for Research Excellence at a reception that took place on November 25 at the Faculty Club, University of Toronto. Many research activities were affected recently due to COVID-19, including the presentation of this prestigious award. The Medal for Research Excellence is awarded annually to a Canadian researcher who is recognized for career accomplishment in kidney research.

Dr. Pei, MD, FRCP(C), FACP, FASN, is Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology at the University of Toronto; Director, Centre for Innovative Management of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), University Health Network (UHN); and Senior Scientist, Toronto General Research Institute, UHN.

Dr. Pei’s research career has mainly centred on identifying the genetic factors involved in the initiation or progression of genetic kidney diseases as a target for developing novel diagnostic tests and therapies. His research program focuses on genetic, genomic, and translational research of hereditary kidney diseases with a major focus on autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).

“Dr. Pei’s work has been instrumental in increasing knowledge about polycystic kidney disease,” says Elizabeth Myles, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. 

“Dr. Pei has been a major figure in PKD research over the past two decades. His work has redefined the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to ADPKD and has helped countless patients with this disease,” says Dr. Christopher Chan, Director of Nephrology, UHN. 

Dr. Pei also made important contributions to genetic research for other hereditary kidney diseases, including familial IgA nephropathy, familial nephrotic syndrome, and Alport syndrome. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, has collaborated widely with researchers nationally and internationally and has trained numerous clinical and research fellows in hereditary kidney disease.

“Dr. Pei’s work has resulted in the criteria commonly used throughout the world to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of ADPKD and has been instrumental in improving not only the recognition of ADPKD but also the treatment and care of those affected,” adds Myles. “We are delighted to recognize a career that represents the essence of dedication and devotion.”

Dr. Pei also founded the Centre for Innovative Management for Polycystic Kidney Disease in 2015 with the goal of developing a world-class PKD translational research program in Canada. The centre provides advanced diagnostic and novel therapeutics to patients with ADPKD. Patients also have access to the latest research studies in prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic interventions. More than 500 patients are followed or co-managed at the centre with roughly 95% of them involved in at least one research project. 

“I am truly honoured and most grateful to receive this prestigious recognition from the Kidney Foundation of Canada. The funding from The Kidney Foundation over the past two decades has played a critical role in making my research in polycystic kidney disease possible and, at times served as a lifeline in a challenging funding environment,” says Dr. Pei. 

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