New research, funded by your support.
Covid-19 forced us to pause our research funding, but by June 2020 we were cautiously beginning to re-start. We couldn’t award as many grants as usual, but invested nearly £2 million over 15 projects and fellowships – five in partnership with the Stoneygate Trust. We also launched an innovative approach to financing research, to help us do more, more quickly.
Farah Latif, pictured right, received a Kidney Research UK Training Fellowship to investigate how to protect patients from a particular virus after a kidney transplant.
Towards treatments for childhood bladder problems
In June we awarded £136,000 to Professor William Newman and his team at the University of Manchester to uncover the genetic causes of inherited bladder problems in children. Not only can these conditions cause kidney damage, but their common symptoms – including bed-wetting and incontinence – can have an enormous impact on children’s confidence and education. The team have pinpointed some of the genes responsible, but need to complete the picture.
With funding from us, they will now carry out ‘whole genome sequencing’ (analysing all the genetic material in a cell) of samples from children with severe inherited bladder conditions. They’ll cross-check this analysis against an enormous genetic database called the 100,000 Genomes Project. This way they can confirm if their genetic suspects are the true cause of bladder problems in these children and others.
New avenues of funding
In our strategy we committed to making a step-change in the research effort, to deliver major advances in our understanding of kidney disease and transform treatments. This means funding more ourselves, and helping the research community to tap into other funding sources, often aimed at start-up enterprises. So, we have partnered with Babraham Research Campus and UK BioIndustry Association to support kidney researchers to think more like entrepreneurs as they consider how to finance their research. Through this work we intend to significantly increase the investment available for vital kidney research.