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Funding new paediatric research with your support

29 June 2022

In our continuing commitment to identify and fund the very best research into discovering the causes of and effective treatments for kidney disease, Kidney Research UK has recently granted five new awards amounting to a total of £631,183. 

Professor David Long in the research lab
Prof David Long in the research lab

Professor David Long, University College London 

We have awarded a paediatric research project grant for £233,142 to David to investigate a better treatment for a condition called ‘posterior urethral valves’ (PUV) – blockages that develop in the tube that drains urine from the bladder, obstructing urine flow. PUV can be corrected surgically at birth, but children will still often develop kidney failure because of scarring in their bladder.

David and the team will further investigate what happens to the bladder during PUV and how scarring happens, and they will then test a number of anti-scarring drugs to see if they might show potential in treating children with PUV and preventing them from developing kidney failure. 

Professor Moin Saleem, Bristol University 

We have awarded a paediatric research project grant for £109,894 to Moin to investigate the causes of nephrotic syndrome – a condition where the tiny filtering units in the kidney stop working properly and leak large amounts of protein into the urine – and to understand which patients will respond to which treatments.

With our support, Moin has built a database containing information from hundreds of people with nephrotic syndrome and also has access to data from patients in India, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Using a process known as machine learning, computers will pick apart the data. This will offer up bite-sized chunks of key information that doctors can use to better understand the causes of nephrotic syndrome and decide the best way to treat their patients. 

Prof Moin Saleem
Prof Moin Saleem, University of Bristol
Dr Pelagia Koufaki
Dr Pelagia Koufaki

Dr Pelagia Koufaki, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 

We have awarded a paediatric research project grant for £121,603 to Pelagia to extend Kidney-BEAM – a digital health platform originally designed for adults with chronic kidney disease which provides a combination of live and on-demand exercise classes to encourage physical activity and movement – to children and young people with chronic kidney disease.

This will include exercise-based classes delivered in age-appropriate groups where children will be able to get peer support, and features to help motivation such as badges and celebrations when reaching targets. 

Professor Rukshana Shroff, Great Ormond Street Hospital 

We have awarded a paediatric research project grant for £129,593 to Rukshana to help children and young people with chronic kidney disease and on dialysis, to follow the restrictive diet and medication regimes needed to control their levels of a mineral called phosphate, which can weaken bones and damage the heart.

The team will carry out questionnaires and focus groups to understand the reasons why children struggle to stick to these regimes, and they will use this information to create educational materials to help improve phosphate control in these patients. 

Dr Rukshana Shroff
Dr Rukshana Shroff
Dr Carl May
Dr Carl May

Dr Carl May, Bristol University 

We have awarded a paediatric start up (formerly innovation) grant for £36,951 to Carl and his team to test an exciting new drug that has shown early potential in treating idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (nephrotic syndrome with no known cause).

The team will also use novel delivery technologies to see if they can target the drug directly to the kidney to reduce the risk of side effects.

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