South West Thames Kidney Fund

Supporting Research into Kidney Disease and Diabetes

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South West Thames Institute for Renal Research

The South West Thames Institute for Renal Research (SWTIRR) is unique.  One of only three independent renal research institutes in the country, it is the only one with an executive of patients and their families. This means that SWTIRR puts patients and their concerns in front of government targets or Research Council priorities.


SWTIRR is unique because it brings together doctors, nurses and scientists under one roof in a purpose built facility adjacent to one of the largest and most dynamic renal units in the South East of England.


SWTIRR is unique in the approach it takes to help the renal community of patients, their relatives and carers. This unique approach comes from addressing: early detection of kidney disease; education and support of pre-dialysis kidney patients; laboratory research into the mechanisms of kidney disease; clinical research into improved on-going care and the provision of a constant programme of education for health care professionals in the renal field to keep them informed and up to date on the latest advances and issues.


Currently there are a number of research projects underway in SWTIRR.


Research into care and education of diabetic patients likely to develop kidney failure:

  • Diabetes is the single greatest cause of renal failure. Complete kidney failure can be a devasting disease resulting in patients being on dialysis for years and shortening their life expectancy but, complete kidney failure may be able to be delayed by initiating a programme of education and care in vulnerable diabetic patients. SWTIRR is investigating whether an innovative patient centred education programme can really help patients and delay their need for dialysis


Improved detection of kidney disease:

  • Like many diseases, such as cancer, one of the most important aspects of successful treatment is early detection. SWTIRR is at the forefront of developing new and innovate methods of detection of kidney failure. People from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are more prone to kidney failure. Consequently, SWTIRR is part of a huge trial looking at the prevalence of kidney failure in nearly 10,000 Indo Asians living in London


Identifying new targets for drug therapies:

  • To develop new and better therapies for kidney failure we must understand the biological process of the diseases. SWTIRR has several projects doing exactly this, including a new and exciting initiative trying to identify the response of kidney cells to diabetes and how this might lead to kidney failure.

For further information on the South West Thames Institute for Renal Research please visit their website.