Chair:  Dr Jill Norman

The Renal Association does not fund research directly, but the encouragement and promotion of research into renal diseases and their prevention and treatment have been major aims since the creation of the Association. Kidney Research UK (formerly the National Kidney Research Fund) was set up by members of the Renal Association and continues to be the major independent funding body for renal research in the UK. It runs a project grant funding round and a fellowship funding round each year, together with joint funding initiatives (e.g. with MRC and the BRS). More about Kidney Research UK.

Through the Research Committee's newly developing Clinical Forum, the Renal Association encourages and facilitates clinical trials in the field of nephrology. Two other fora are also in development, concerned with in-vitro approaches and cell/whole organism-based research

Various other research initiatives under the broad auspices of the Renal Association are listed below.

All NIHR adopted clinical trials ongoing in the UK are listed here on the searchable UK Clinical Research Network Study Portfolio database.

Research Committee Membership:

  • Chair: Dr Jill Norman
  • Dr Emanuele del'Angelantonio - (expertise at population level)
  • Dr Richard Coward - BAPN rep
  • Dr Mark Dockrell - elected executive rep, to be replaced by Dr Michael Robson in 2014.
  • Dr Lars Erwig - (expertise in cell biol/immunol)
  • Dr Rachel Lennon - (expertise in cell biol/signalling)
  • Dr Amy-Jayne McKnight - Renal Scientists, genomics
  • Dr Dorothea Nitsch - (expertise in epidemiology) – deputised during maternity leave by Dr Catriona Shaw
  • Dr Claire Sharpe - elected executive rep and EON expertise
  • Dr Mark Taylor - Rare Disease Committee
  • Professor Paula Ormandy – BRS rep
  • Dr Fergus Caskey (observer) - Renal Registry
  • Professor Fiona Karet, Academic VP as ex officio.

Documents and minutes of the Research Committee

Recent Activity

A new database from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences of the University of Glasgow.

This is an open access piece of useful information for any researcher to interrogate, if they want to see where molecules pop up, or where animal models exist, for example.

It integrates transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies gathered from literature and manually curated, with demographic data for chronic kidney disease.
The database will allow a data-driven approach to the development of disease models that could potentially pave the way for the discovery of new biomarkers and drug targets in CKD. It has been developed by Marco Fernandes, a PhD student.
Access the database here

- See more at:

Research Committee Report – Feb 2014

Moin Saleem (Chair)

Jill Norman (Deputy Chair)

The Chairmanship of this group has recently passed to me (MS), and as a new development for this committee, we officially have a deputy Chair (JN) who will additionally serve to strengthen representation of basic scientists within the committee.

Initial work has been to confirm and update current membership. New developments have been to add in representation from the BRS (Prof Paula Ormandy) and Rare Diseases, and we intend to get representation from UKKRC.

Some initial work has been done on updating the website. However, rather than duplicate work, the main decision has been to coordinate the task with Tim Goodship at UKKRC, who is currently updating that website. He is planning to have a single web page for UKKRC that will be on the BRS, Renal Association and KRUK web sites. KRUK will be the curator for this page

The next task is to populate the page with details of current national studies, and I will liaise with NIHR (particularly the CSGs) to coordinate the best way of keeping this up to date.

At our next meeting in Glasgow we will explore other ideas for keeping the website up do date and useful.

The Renal Research Database is now live, thanks to the efforts of Claire Sharp, and users can register and use it. This site allows researchers to post information about their work and get in touch with one another (

Following publication of the Kidney Health document, a National Renal Research Strategy is being developed, led by Tim Goodship. We aim to keep close links to this as it develops during the consultation stages.


Research initiatives in which the Renal Association is involved

Clinical Trails

If you are contemplating a clinical trial, you can ask the Research Committee's experts in its Clinical Forum for help and advice. Please contact the Chair in the first instance.

Renal Clinical Research Skills Forum

This innovative group is open to Renal Trainees or Consultants with an interest in developing clinical research. We want to help you develop your research ideas from inception to completion; you will have support on key factors crucial for success, including study design, research governance, and analytical skills. You will have unique access to a network of experienced scientists who want to share their knowledge and experience. As a group we anticipate successful development of collaborative high impact multi-center research. To find out more please contact

UKKRC Clinical Study Groups

Leaders of the twelve national Clinical Study Groups meet regularly to exchange information and promote potential studies. You can see a brief report of the most recent meeting here.

Genetic susceptibility to renal disease

The research committee contains a genetics working group, which broadly encompasses the two UKKRC clinical study groups on cystic and non-cystic disorders.

An oversight committee for the Renal DNA collections is chaired by Professor Tim Goodship. A National DNA Repository to study genetic susceptibility to glomerulonephritis has been funded by the MRC and by Kidney Research UK. This collection is now available to researchers - see also further information on the DNA Network website

The UK Vesicoureteric Reflux (VUR) DNA collection has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, facilitated by Kidney Research UK. It shares governance arrangements as above.

Haemodialysis and exercise

Dr Patrick Naish is coordinating an interest group in this area. Further information will be posted here. Contact him at

Transplantation - STEPP

This project to investigate long term outcomes (beyond graft failure and death) after renal transplantation has been coordinated by Kidney Research UK in collaboration with the Renal Association and the BTS (2005). Five transplant centres (Guy's, Leeds, Leicester, Oxford, St Helier) will collect data on kidney function, health problems and medication of transplant patients, as well as patients' own reports on their health, quality of life and the impact on their lives of transplant failure. Funding is from a consortium of the pharmaceutical companies Astellas, Roche and Wyeth. More information and updates are available from the project website at

Quality Improvements in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Significant Challenge for Primary Care

Kidney Research UK, in collaboration with University Hospital Leicester and St George’s-University of London, have developed a unique, £1.2 million partnership with support from the Health Foundation and Edith Murphy Foundation. The development group for this proposal included members of several bodies including the Renal Association, and the RA is represented on the steering group by Dr Kevin Harris. Two complementary, three-year community research studies, commencing in Summer 2007, have been developed to test and implement a range of quality improvements (QIs) for individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with one project specifically focussing on those patients also having diabetes. The overall objective is to identify a quality improvement (QI) programme delivering the evidence base for better primary care-led interventions, enhance the quality of care and drive forward new advances in the treatment of CKD within the community. More information and updates from KRUK

The UK EPS Registry and DNA Bank

Encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis is a terrible complication of peritoneal dialysis. The fact that it is relatively uncommon makes it difficult to study. It is hoped that this national registry will coordinate our efforts to better understand this disease. For more information, or to get involved, contact Louese Dunn in Manchester. More information.

5-ASA nephrotoxicity

Drs. Ahmad and colleagues are investigating this topic, see here

Research Training for clinicians

The Research Committee has updated its Strategy document on Research Training for Clinicians, see here




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