Skip to content

Unlocking the potential of kidney blood vessels in the treatment of childhood kidney disease

22 February 2024

Dr Jennifer Chandler from the University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health has received a PhD studentship grant of £100,000 to understand the potential of targeting the blood vessels to treat childhood kidney disease. 

The problem for children with kidney disease

Many children with kidney disease do not respond to conventional drugs that suppress the immune system. This leaves them with permanent scarring of the tiny filters in the kidney, called glomeruli (a condition known as ‘glomerulosclerosis’). There is an urgent need to find new treatment strategies for these children. 

Dr Jennifer Chandler in her lab
Dr Jennifer Chandler

The solution to treat childhood kidney disease

The kidney contains a network of small blood vessels that carry blood and important molecules around the organ. We know that in adults with kidney disease, these vessels can be damaged, but this is yet to be explored in children.  

With the support of Kidney Research UK, Jennifer’s student will use a pre-clinical laboratory model to undertake sophisticated imaging techniques, to study how the entire network of kidney vessels develops during childhood and how this might be altered by disease. 

The team will also explore how molecules that regulate blood vessel health are altered in childhood kidney disease and will investigate whether they can be used as a new therapy to treat this childhood disease. 

Network of kidney vessels taken by a sophisticated imaging technique.
Vascualture image

What this might mean for patients

This research will be the first to investigate how the kidney blood vessels change in children with kidney damage and could take us a step closer to identifying a new alternative treatment strategy to prevent kidney failure in these children. 

“We are very excited to receive this studentship award from Kidney Research UK. This work will look at a feature of glomerular disease that has not been extensively investigated in children and in doing so could unlock some promising treatment options. On a personal level, this studentship will add a new pair of enthusiastic hands to our research team, getting us a step closer to our critical goal of advancing therapies for childhood glomerular diseases.” Dr Jennifer Chandler

Read about the research we're funding

Why not make a donation now?

(Every £ counts)

Scroll To Top