In this section of the Charity’s website medical researchers that have received Grants from Kidney Research Yorkshire have an opportunity to describe progress on the work in which they are engaged.
Making Research Happen
Here at Kidney Research Yorkshire we have just one thing that we focus on every day. This is to ensure that the highest quality research is funded, and that this makes a real difference to people’s lives.
Dr Andrew Mooney (scientific adviser to Kidney Research Yorkshire) and Dr Nick Hornigold (post-doctoral scientist supported by Kidney Research Yorkshire) attended the American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.
Their work, which has been supported by Kidney Research Yorkshire, had been selected for presentation at their annual meeting meeting, which is widely regarded to be the most important kidney research meeting in the world.
Dr Hornigold presented three pieces of work at the meeting. The research he conducts with Kidney Research Yorkshire support focuses on the role of a protein, Hic-5, which appears to play a critical role in the development of kidney disease. Hic-5 has previously been identified as an important protein in moths, where it plays a role in the development of muscles used for flying, but amazingly it is found in many other animals where it has been proposed to control several different processes important for life.
Dr Hornigold has shown that it is not normally present in the glomerular part of kidneys, where blood filtering happens, but it is present in some of the tubules in the kidneys, where the filtrate from the blood is processed into urine. Dr Hornigold’s research shows that as kidney disease develops, Hic-5 appears in glomerular cells in the kidney, and its appearance is associated with a change in these cells so that they behave differently and start to form a scar in kidneys that stops them working properly. This work was published earlier this year in the premier renal journal Kidney International.
At the meeting, Dr Hornigold presented the most recent advances in this work, supported by Kidney Research Yorkshire. His first presentation demonstrated that with experimental drugs it is possible to prevent the appearance of Hic-5 in experimental kidney disease in animals, and this is associated with an improved outcome. His second presentation explained how this effect happens, and his final presentation explained the recent fascinating observation that during kidney disease, Hic-5 disappears from the tubular cells that normally have this protein inside them. Therefore it appears that Hic-5 has important roles to play in different types of kidney disease.
Dr Hornigold said “Attending a meeting like the American Society of Nephrology is a great opportunity. We have the chance to show what we have been doing in Yorkshire to a truly worldwide audience, so we can all work towards the goal of improving the outlook for patients with kidney disease.” He added “At previous meetings, scientists from Japan saw our results and undertook experiments themselves to confirm and add to our findings. It is amazing to think that work done in Yorkshire is being reproduced and developed in so many corners of the world.”
Dr Mooney said “The response to our work was very positive indeed. Many researchers from around the world sought us out to speak to us about it. It is a long way to come, but it is a unique opportunity to show what we have been doing to a world audience of kidney scientists. All of us really think that this research could lead to new treatments for patients with kidney disease, and without the support of Kidney Research Yorkshire this work would simply not have been possible.”