New York— Monday, August 6, 2108 – National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has selected five researchers from throughout the country to be award recipients in the 2018 NKF Young Investigator Research Grant Program, which strives to improve the quality of life for people with kidney disease by funding promising young scientists in their research to discover the causes of kidney disease, prevent its progression, and improve treatment for those living with it today.
The grants are awarded in specified categories for one-year terms. They are given based upon careful and balanced peer review by an independent committee with an emphasis on the support of high-quality, clinical investigation. This year’s recipients and their projects, linked for more details below, are:
- Nephrologist Kevin Erickson, MD, MS, who for the second straight year, has been awarded the Southeast Texas Research Grant to further examine whether receiving regular nephrology care prior to developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) helps patients remain employed after their kidneys fail. Dr. Erickson is an Assistant Professor, Medicine-Nephrology, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.
- Syed Ali Husain, MD, MPH, recipient of a Young Investigator Grant for research that seeks to save more lives by preventing the discarding of kidneys from deceased donors through improving the assessment of quality organs. Dr. Husain is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York. He also is Associate Director of the Nephrology Fellowship at the Columbia University Medical Center Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology.
- Maryland nephrologist Daphne H. Knicely, MD, awarded the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Grant to spearhead a vital program that seeks to sharply increase “health literacy” among patients who have chronic kidney disease. Dr. Knicely is Associate Director, Nephrology Fellowship Program at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. She also is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine . Dr. Knicely is collaborating on the research project with colleague Sumeska Thavarajah, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
- New York researcher Jennifer Scherer, MD, winner of the Satellite Dialysis Clinical Investigator Grant for a pilot study testing whether palliative care (providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness) integrated with nephrology care – or standard nephrology care alone – improve outcomes for patients with kidney disease. Dr. Scherer is Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, NYU Langone Health.
- Pennsylvania nephrologist Roderick Tan, MD, PhD, awarded the Edith H. Blattner Grant Young Investigator Grant for research that will utilize high-resolution ultrasound to closely examine the kidney’s vital small blood vessels. Dr. Tan is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Renal-Electrolyte, Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is collaborating on the study with colleague Kang Kim, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh and the Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC.
The NKF Young Investigator Research Program exists to help these and other innovative researchers to reach potentially pioneering results. “We strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to finding new and better ways to fight or treat kidney disease,” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, and Chief Medical Officer of the National Kidney Foundation. “Ultimately, it’s about improving the lives of millions of kidney patients, so it is with great responsibility and pride that we support the vital research of these doctors.”
Healthcare professionals can join NKF to receive access to tools and resources for both patients and professionals, discounts on professional education, and access to a network of thousands of individuals who treat patients with kidney disease.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org