Research Strategy 2020-2025

Renal disease is relatively common in the United Kingdom with approximately 3 million people suffering from chronic kidney disease and over 300,000 patients being admitted to hospital with acute kidney disease every year.

The Kidney Fund’s aims are to increase awareness and to promote research into kidney disease, and diabetes, so that such research might lead to the development of curative, palliative and preventive treatments.

Although there are many researchers in the UK studying renal disease, they often function under the umbrella of other disciplines such as cardiology or physiology.

The two main approaches the Kidney Fund has identified are research and education. The strategy is a framework, it is not intended to be proscriptive about specific projects.

In order to achieve our research goals, our strategy is to support a dedicated centre allied to renal patients and health professionals working in the field, the South West Thames Institute for Renal Research (SWTIRR), an Institute explicitly focussed on basic and translational renal research. We will also support research into kidney disease carried out at the St. Helier Renal unit, aiming to promote synergy between SWTIRR and the Renal unit, bringing the 'bench to the bedside'.

By working with other stakeholders to maintain SWTIRR, we believe we can help facilitate an independent group that is in turn able to work collaboratively with other organisations where necessary. Through such collaborations, the Institute will be well placed to obtain funding from multiple sources.

The second element of the research strategy is to help source funding for pilot projects to enable researchers to accumulate the data required for more substantial funding applications to other bodies.

The types of Research we are involved in include (but is not limited to):

  • Renal fibrosis
  • Biomarkers of renal disease
  • Renal cancers
  • Sodium and hypertension in patients with renal disease
  • Diabetes and renal disease
  • Renal disease in renal transplant patients

We believe that a greater understanding of renal disease will be achieved through qualified professionals carrying out research and that this will benefit the general population. In order to facilitate this, we intend to support pre-university and undergraduate students to spend time at The Institute, gaining experience and understanding of renal research. We will also continue to support post-graduate research directly and also by helping the researchers identify funding sources and providing a centre for their studies.

Applications for research funding will be subject to peer review and consideration by a dedicated research committee.

The Kidney Fund is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). We support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments. We fully support the implementation of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement of animals use in research).

This research only takes place where there is no alternative available. All AMRC member charities support this principle, as outlined in the position statement on the use of animals in research