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Major grant to enhance kidney disease research

Vanderbilt’s Division of Nephrology and Hypertension has received a five-year, $5 million federal grant to provide core research services in the fight against kidney disease.

Awarded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the Vanderbilt O’Brien Kidney Center is one of seven such centers of excellence in nephrology in the nation, and one of three to receive grants during this highly competitive funding cycle.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide core research activities for our institution and the broader nephrology community, both academic and industry as well,” said Raymond Harris, M.D., chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Kidney Disease and Ann and Roscoe R. Robinson Professor of Nephrology.

The center’s goal is to advance opportunities for kidney-related research and promote effective interactions between basic scientists and clinical researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and across the nation in order pursue effective prevention and treatment of acute and chronic kidney disease and their complications.

The grant supports kidney-related biomedical research cores, pilot and feasibility grants and a robust educational component. During its previous funding period at Vanderbilt, the O’Brien Kidney Center supported studies that have provided new insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetic nephropathy, hypertension, acute kidney injury, glomerular and tubulointerstitial fibrosis and complications of chronic kidney disease.

Harris and Ambra Pozzi, Ph.D., professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, are the grant’s co-principal investigators.

Other key contributors include: Kerri Cavanaugh, M.D., MHS; Mark deCaestecker, MBBS, Ph.D.; Eric Delpire, Ph.D., M.S.; Agnes Fogo, M.D.; Leslie Gewin, M.D.; Volker Haase, M.D.; Alp Ikizler, M.D.; Eddie Siew, M.D., MSCI; Takamune Takahashi, M.D., Ph.D., Matt Wilson, M.D., Ph.D.; Roy Zent, M.D., Ph.D.; and Ming-Zhi Zhang, M.D., M.Sc.