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Driving Discoveries 2022: connecting the renal research community

24 November 2022

125 researchers, patients and members of the Kidney Research UK team came together in Edinburgh on 9-10 November for Driving Discoveries 2022, our first in-person congress since 2019. With two days showcasing the latest advances in renal science, this event was a unique opportunity to promote innovation and collaboration within the kidney research community. 

Researchers at the Driving Discoveries 2022 conference.
Delegates at the Driving Discoveries 2022 conference.

Uniting the research community

Following opening addresses from Sandra Currie, our chief executive and Professor Jeremy Hughes, chair of our trustees, delegates were updated on our new ways of working by Dr Aisling McMahon, executive director of research and policy and our commitment to collaboration in research by Professor Sunil Bhandari. Afternoon sessions highlighted our work with Drs John Stone and James Fildes on donor kidney optimisation, followed by a discussion of the importance of health data research to improve patient outcomes. Prior to our evening reception, many of our researchers shared their work during a poster session (view the abstracts), providing ample chance to catch up with colleagues old and new.  

Aisling said "We aim not only to fund excellent research designed to improve the lives of those living with kidney disease and their families, but also to support innovation across the kidney science community. This year’s Driving Discoveries allowed us to showcase our ongoing projects, while bringing together research teams from across the UK and promoting the collaborations that we know are so important in making the progress our patients need."

New approaches in kidney science

Day two saw the focus shift to regenerative medicine, with Professor Jamie Davies and Dr Laura Denby taking the stage. Our patient session, led by Dr Miranda Scanlon, and Mae Smith from our patient involvement team, provided a very well-received overview of the crucial role of patients throughout the research lifecycle. This was followed by presentations from Dr David Ferenbach, PhD student Serena MacMillan and Dr Joyce Popoola prior to our second poster session and lunch. 

Katherine Forbes, our director of innovation and enterprise, chaired the final session with Professor Moin Saleem and the winners of our first MedTech competition earlier in the year, sharing our new ways of supporting innovation in kidney care. Driving Discoveries was closed by Jeremy, with prizes awarded to Drs Ben Reynolds and David Baird. We would like to thank everyone who attended and supported this event; we look forward to a busy events programme for 2023. 

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