Research Awards

Since 1964, The Kidney Foundation of Canada has played a fundamental role in supporting and advancing kidney-related research in Canada. In fact, The Kidney Foundation of Canada funds over one third of all kidney-related research in Canada and by the end of 2017, the Foundation’s total commitment to research will have exceeded $115 million.

Research brings hope to patients and their families for better treatment options and a better quality of life. It is thanks to the tireless efforts and the commitment of thousands of dedicated volunteers and contributors across the country that this important research is possible.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is proud of the role it has played over the past four decades and recognizes that the continual enhancement of research capacity is critical to the advancement of knowledge and the career development and retention of renal researchers.

For 2017, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is once again upholding its commitment to supporting research excellence through Research Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships awarded to investigators from all scientific disciplines.

2016 Research Award Recipients

Biomedical Research Grants

Dr Mohsen AgharaziiMoshen Agharazii

CHUQ - L'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec - Québec

Mechanisms of chronic kidney disease-related vascular calcification: Role of the endothelin system

2016-2018 : 100 000 $
Categorie : Hypertension

Dr Agharazii est néphrologue et clinicien-chercheur  à l’Université Laval et au Centre hospitalier de Québec (CHU), à Québec, au Canada. Il a complété sa formation médicale à l’Université Laval, pour ensuite entreprendre sa formation de chercheur au Guy’s Hospital à Londres ainsi qu’à l’Hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou (HEGP) et au Centre hospitalier de Manhès à Paris sous la supervision des professeurs David Goldsmith, Stéphane Laurent, Pierre Boutouyrie et Gérard London. Au cours des dernières décennies, il a élaboré un programme de recherche où il se penche sur les mécanismes du remodelage de l’aorte dans le contexte des maladies rénales chroniques, autant chez les humains que chez les modèles animaux. Sa recherche a reçu le soutien financier de la Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation, d’Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, de la Fondation canadienne du rein et de la Fondation des maladies du cœur et de l’AVC. Il a bénéficié d’une bourse d’études du Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé et la Chaire de recherche en néphrologie Amgen de l’Université Laval lui a été attribuée. Il fait du mentorat auprès de jeunes chercheurs et il est l’auteur de plus de 50 articles revus par ses pairs dans les domaines de la néphrologie et de l’hypertension.

Dr. Jean-François CailhierCailhier

Centre de recherche du CHUM - Montreal

Role of MFG-E8 in the transplant microenvironment: A local impact with systemic consequences?

2016-2018: $100,000
Category: Transplantation


Dr. Jean-François Cailhier is an associate professor of medicine at the Université de Montréal. He obtained his MD degree and underwent his internal medicine and nephrology residency training at the Université de Montréal. He has a Ph.D from the University of Edinburgh in macrophage biology and inflammation. Since 2007, he is an independent researcher at the CRCHUM, the research centre from the centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). His laboratory investigates the role of macrophage reprogramming in renal and systemic inflammation. Sponsored by the Kidney Foundation on Canada, he will study on the role of the microenvironment in the renal transplant on the modulation of the phenotype of macrophages.

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Dr. Héloise CardinalCardinal

Centre de recherche du CHUM - Montreal

 

 

Are anti-LG3 anitbodies predictive biomarkers of severity and effectors of microvascular damage in kidney transplant recipients with delayed graft function?

 

2016-2018: $100,000

Category: Transplantation


Héloise Cardinal is a transplant nephrologist and an independent researcher at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. After completing her medical studies at the University of Sherbrooke, she undertook her nephrology training at the University of Montreal, and then completed a PhD in Epidemiology at McGill University in 2012. In the past decade, her research work has been focusing on the study of biomarkers for the prediction of clinical outcomes in kidney transplantation, cardiovascular disease and vascular biology. She holds a Krescent young investigator award and is a scholar from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec (Santé).

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Dr. William CupplesW. Cupples

Simon Fraser University - Burnaby

Distributed regulation of renal medullary blood flow

2016-2018: $100,000
Category: Kidney Biology

Dr. Cupples is a biomedical physiology and kinesiology professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He studied biology at the University of Victoria  and continued on to achieve a master degree in Calgary. After intense labour work in the forest industry, he decided to go back to study to get a PhD in Toronto by working in Harold Sonnenberg's Lab. The field of biomedical physiology never stopped to amaze him and he even got a post doctoral degree later on. Dr. Cupples has now is own lab and works on the deep of biomedical physiology and kinesiology at Simon Fraser University.

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Dr. Alan Deng
Centre de recherche du CHUM - Montreal


Genetics of hypertension providing novel renal mechanistic insights

2016-2018: $100,000
Category: Hypertension

 

 

Dr. Richard GilbertR. Gilbert
St. Michael's Hospital - Toronto

Moving 'stem' cell therapy to protein-based therapeutics: role of CXCL-10

2016-2018: $98,000
Category: Diabetes


Richard Gilbert is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair in Diabetes Complications and Head of the Division of Endocrinology at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. His major interests are in the treatment and prevention of diabetic complications with an emphasis on diabetic kidney disease.  Professor Gilbert has published over 230 peer-reviewed manuscripts, has numerous patents on novel treatments for diabetic nephropathy and co-founded Fibrotech, a biotechnology company that has brought anti-fibrotic therapies from the bench to early phase human trials.  He is currently a member of the editorial board of Diabetes.  Current research projects relate to the use of new therapies for the prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease and associated heart failure.  In addition to his bench research, Dr. Gilbert is actively involved in teaching and knowledge translation. He currently heads Guidelines Committees for the management of hypertension in diabetes.

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Dr. Lakshman GunaratnamGunaratnam cropped

University of Western Ontario - London

 

Potential role of kidney injury moelcule-1 in mitigating tissue damage from ischemia-reperfusion and alloimmune injury after renal transplantation


2016-2018: $100,000
Category: Renal Failure

Dr. Lakshman Gunaratnam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Western University. Lakshman completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Toronto in immunology where he graduated with high distinction. Later he went on to attend medical school and complete residency training in internal medicine at the University of Ottawa. In Ottawa, Dr. Gunaratnam also served as a research fellow in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine where he studied how renal epithelial cells become transformed into malignant cells in renal cell cancer. In 2005, Dr. Gunaratnam embarked on his second research fellowship at Harvard Medical School where his research work focused on renal epithelial cell signaling in acute kidney injury. In 2009 he completed his clinical fellowship in nephrology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In 2007 he was promoted to Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and later served as an associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital while completing additional training in renal transplantation prior to moving to London. He has won numerous research awards including a KRESCENT new investigator award and published in high-impact papers in his field.

Dr. Gunaratnam joined the Multi-organ Transplant Program and the nephrology division at Western University in 2010. Apart from general nephrology, his clinical and research interests are in renal acute kidney injury and kidney transplantation. He is also a full-time faculty and clinician-scientist at Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and is devoting considerable time to conducting research on kidney injury and tissue repair in the setting of kidney failure and kidney transplantation. His laboratory is funded by peer-reviewed grants from several agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Dr. Gunaratnam’s team hopes to identify therapeutic strategies to prevent kidney failure and increase the lifespan of transplanted kidneys.

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Dr. Richard HébertR. Hebert
University of Ottawa - Ottawa


The renal PGE2/EP3 system affects kidney concentrating mechanisms and diabetic polyuria

2016-2018: $100,000
Category: Diabetes


Dr. Hébert’s laboratory is the only one in Canada capable of performing microperfusion of mouse kidney tubules, proximal tubules and collecting duct in vitro. Though the mice provide a challenge compared to the rabbit or rat for in vitro perfusion studies, the lab has dedicated a great deal of effort to optimizing the dissection and perfusion strategies. These innovative and functional studies are a necessary complement to cell and molecular studies in mouse physiology. Dr. Hebert hopes that his research will introduce novel targets for the treatment of hypertension by using drugs that modify specific prostaglandin pathways in the collecting duct, and improve the lives of the millions of Canadians affected by hypertension. Dr. Hébert’s research has received continuous funding from Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFC), and Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). In addition, Dr Hebert has received numerous awards, including the Award of Excellence for Research, Teaching and Education from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

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Dr. Paul IsenringIsenring, Paul
Université Laval - Québec

Molecular characterization of the renal K-Cl cotransporters

2016-2018: $100,000
Category: Water, Salt and Calcium handling by the Kidney

 

 

 

Dr. Ana KonvalinkaA. Konvalinka
University Health Network - Toronto


Interaction between humoral immune response and kidney tissue proteome in antibody mediated rejection

2016-2018: $150,000
Category: Transplantation

Dr. Ana Konvalinka is a nephrologist and a Clinician Scientist at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. She completed Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, and began medical studies at the University of Ottawa in 1998. In 2003, she returned to Toronto for internal medicine and nephrology subspecialty training, which she completed in 2008. She subsequently embarked on a PhD in basic science at the University of Toronto, and was admitted to the Clinician Scientist Training Program and Clinician Investigator Program. The topic of her PhD work was the effect of angiotensin II on the proteome of primary human proximal tubular cells, and the relevance of this effect in vivo. The main findings of the work were published in Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dr. Konvalinka successfully defended her PhD in 2013, and then went on to complete kidney transplant fellowship at Toronto General Hospital. Her main clinical and research interests are in antibody-mediated rejection and kidney allograft fibrosis, but she also studies native kidney disease. She utilizes systems biology approaches and proteomics to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms, derive novel markers and to repurpose drugs for treatment of kidney disease. Dr. Konvalinka also leads the Multi-Organ Transplant biobank, which banks tissue and biofluids for kidney, pancreas and liver programs.

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Dr. Joan KrepinskyJ. Krepinsky
McMaster University - Toronto


Is follistatin protective against progression of chronic kidney disease

2016-2018: $100,000
Category: Kidney Biology


Dr. Krepinsky is a clinician-scientist with the Division of Nephrology, McMaster University. Her practice involves general nephrology and care of patients with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure receiving hemodialysis. Her research centers on understanding the mechanisms of progression of diabetic and hypertensive chronic kidney disease, with a focus on identifying signaling pathways that lead to scar protein (matrix) upregulation and that may be targeted for therapeutic purposes. Her lab is currently funded by the Kidney Foundation of Canada to study the potential benefit of the protein follistatin in preventing or slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease related to high blood pressure.

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Dr. Hon LeongLeong

Lawson Health Research Institute - London

The development of novel drosophila melanogaster models for human nephrolithiasis

2016-2019: $150,000
Category: Urology

 

Dr. Hon Leong received his PhD in 2008 at the University of British Columbia through the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  This was research focused on platelet microparticles, autoantibodies, and transplant vasculopathy.  He subsequently did a Post-doctoral Fellowship in the laboratories of Dr. Ann Chambers (2008-2014) and Dr. John Lewis (2008-2012).  This was research focused on translational prostate and translational breast cancer research.  He has previously held fellowships awarded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program.

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Dr. Fabrice Mac-WayMacWay

Université Laval - Quebec

Mechanisms of osteocytes dysfunction in CKD-Mineral and Bone Disorders

2016-2019: $150,000
Category:  Renal Failure

Dr. Fabrice Mac-Way is a nephrologist and clinician-scientist at Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec pavilion. He is an Assistant Professor, Division of Nephrology, at Laval University. He underwent a post-doctoral training in bone biology at Université de Lyon, St-Etienne (France) where he developped an expertise in assessment of bone microarchitecture, mineralisation and remodelling (bone histomorphometry analysis) in both animals and humans in the context of chronic kidney disease. He then completed his post-doctoral training in the study of bone-vessels interaction in chronic kidney disease. His research program is supported by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec en Santé (FRQS) and the KRESCENT New Investigator Award from the Kidney Foundation of Canada. He also obtained the Harold Frost New Investigator Award from the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research. His research program aims at identifying the mechanisms of bone-vessels anomalies in CKD, focusing on the role of osteocytes in a translational manner.

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Dr. Arnim Pause

MCGill Cancer Centre - Montreal

Role of FLCN in RCC metastatic progression and drug resistance

2016-2018: $100,000
Category: Cancer, Genetics



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Dr. Norman RosenblumRosenblum

The Hospital for Sick Children - Toronto

Control of Renal Branching Morphogenesis by Missense Mutations in Human Integrin Linked Kinase

2016-2018:  $100,000
Category:  Gentics, Kidney Biology, Kidney Development

Dr. Norman Rosenblum is Professor of Paediatrics, Physiology, and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, and a Paediatric Nephrologist and Senior Scientist in the Research Institute, the Hospital for Sick Children. He is the recipient of a Canada Research Chair in Developmental Nephrology. Dr. Rosenblum is a MD graduate of Dalhousie University. He completed a Pediatric residency and a fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology at the Children’s Hospital, Boston followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Bjorn Olsen in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rosenblum was recruited in 1993 as a clinician scientist to the Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto. Since then, the focus of his research has been to elucidate molecular mechanisms that control normal and malformed kidney development in genetic mouse models with a focus on signaling by bone morphogenetic, WNT and Hedgehog proteins. His lab has generated several models of human kidney-urinary tract malformation. He has published over 110 peer-reviewed original manuscripts and book chapters.

Dr. Rosenblum is deeply engaged in developing and managing career development programs for clinician scientists. He founded and led the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program from 2001-2012. In his present role as Associate Dean, Physician Scientist Training in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, he is Director of both the MD/PhD and Clinician Investigator Programs. Dr. Rosenblum is immediate Past-President of the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Rosenblum is the recipient of the 2004 Aventis Pasteur Research Award, the American Pediatric Society inaugural 2006 Norman J. Siegel New Member Outstanding Science Award, the Society for Pediatric Research 2010 Maureen Andrew Award in Mentoring, and the Kidney Foundation of Canada 2011 Medal for Research Excellence.

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Dr. Banu SisSis, Banu

University of Alberta - Edmonton

Tissue and circulating gene activity and protein biomarkers as a screening and diagnostic test for antibody-mediated rejection of human kidney transplants

2016-2018:  $100,000
Category:  Transplantation

Dr. Banu Sis is an anatomical pathologist at University of Alberta Hospitals. She is an associate professor in Department of Laboratory of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Alberta where she is a scientist running a research laboratory at the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation. Dr. Sis studies kidney transplant rejection. She described endothelial gene expression profiles in biopsies from human kidney transplants. By these molecular studies, she discovered a new type of transplant rejection (C4d-negative antibody-mediated rejection) and uncovered the fact that most patients with this form of kidney rejection remain under-diagnosed and progress to kidney transplant failure. Sis received several awards for her research activities including the Canadian Association of Pathologists Junior Scientist Award and Gloria Gallo research award by the Renal Pathology Society. She actively participates in national and international scientific activities and has served in specialty societies in the area of renal pathology and organ transplantation such as past Executive Member of the Transplant Diagnostics Community of Practice of the American Society of Transplantation.

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Dr. Lori WestWest

University of Alberta - Edmonton

Immunobiology of ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation: specificity of antibodies and B cells to ABH subtype antigens

2016-2018:  $100,000
Category:  Transplantation

Dr. West is Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Immunology at the University of Alberta and holds a Canada Research Chair  in Cardiac Transplantation. She is a world leader in pediatric cardiac transplantation and transplant immunology, including translation of basic concepts and findings from animal models to clinical application in organ transplantation. She pioneered a strategy for increasing donor availability for infants by crossing the ABO blood group barrier, leading to global impact on infant heart transplantation. Her investigations of the immune development of infants after ABO-incompatible transplantation led to the first demonstration of neonatal transplantation tolerance in humans.  Director of the Alberta Transplant Institute, Dr. West is also the founding Director of the Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP), a coalition of more than 300 investigators at 30 sites across Canada funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and partners. The CNTRP network integrates basic science, clinical and policy researchers in solid organ transplantation, hematopoietic cell transplantation and organ/tissue donation, with the overall goal of increasing access to transplantation and improving long-term transplant outcomes. Dr. West is Past-President of both the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and the Canadian Society of Transplantation, and served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Transplantation. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and currently serves on Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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Dr. Shao-Ling ZhangZhang-SL

Centre de Recherche du CHUM - Montreal

A novel metabolic signaling molecule in diabetic nephropathy: role of hedgehog interacting protein

2016-2018:  $100,000
Category:  Diabetes

Dr. Zhang obtained her Bachelor of Medicine from Shanghai Medical University, China. She obtained her MSc and PhD degrees from the Université de Montréal and completed her post-doctoral fellowship (PDF) at Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School.  Being a PI at CRCHUM since 2004, her research program has been focused on the area of «Maternal Diabetes and Perinatal Programming of Kidney and Cardiovascular Diseases». She has received multiple awards including CIHR-Doctoral and PDF awards; CIHR-KRESCENT New Investigator Award; FRQS scholarship (chercheur-boursier J1 and J2); ASN-Carl W. Gottschalk Scholarship; Young Investigator Award from Société Québecoise d'hypertension artérielle and CRCHUM.

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Dr. Zhu-Xu ZhangZhang-ZX

Lawson Health Research Institute

Regulation of NK cell-mediated kidney injury and chronic graft rejection by the interactions of NKR-P1:Clr receptor and ligand pairs

2016-2018  $100,000
Category:  Transplantation

Dr. Zhang received his PhD degree from Karolinska Institute, Sweden in 1997. He finished his postdoctoral fellowship training in the Department of Pathology, University of Toronto in 2003. He is currently an associate professor in Department of Medicine and cross-appointee in the Department of Pathology. His laboratory is at the Matthew Mailing Centre for Translational Transplant Studies, London Health Sciences Centre. His research interest is focused on the mechanisms of immune regulation and tolerance. He and his colleagues have identified a novel type of regulatory T cells, that can suppress immune responses and prolong graft survival. In addition, he and his colleagues have found that NK cells can mediate graft ischemia injury and chronic rejection in transplantation. Currently, there are two areas under active investigation in his laboratory: i) the mechanism of cell death pathways-mediated tissue injury and transplant rejection, and ii) the role of NK and regulatory T cells in immune tolerance. The goal is to dissect the roles of innate immunity and  various cell death pathways during the development of immune tolerance. His research is supported by CIHR, CNTRP, KFOC, CFI and HSF.

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2016 Allied Health Awards

2016 Krescent Awards

2016 Alport Syndrome Awards

 

 

2016 Biomedical Research Grants
2016 Allied Health Awards

2016 Krescent Awards
2016 Alport Syndrome Awards

2015 Research Awards Recipients
2014-2015 Research Awards Recipients
2013-2014 Research Awards Recipients
2012-2013 Research Awards Recipients

2011-2012 Research Awards Recipients
2010-2011 Research Awards Recipients
2009-2010 Research Awards Recipients

2008-2009 Research Awards Recipients
2007-2008 Research Awards Recipients
2006-2007 Research Awards Recipients

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