New York Researcher Receives NKF Young Investigator Grant

 Study Focuses Preventing the Discarding of Kidneys from Deceased Donors
New York— Monday, August 6, 2108 – Syed Ali Husain, MD, MPH, of New York has been awarded a 2018 Young Investigator Grant from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) for research that seeks to save more lives by preventing the discarding of kidneys from deceased donors through improving the assessment of quality organs.
"I am excited to receive this grant and thankful to NKF for supporting my research,” said Dr. Husain, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center.  He also is Associate Director of the Nephrology Fellowship at the Columbia University Medical Center Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology.
 “Because I am an early career investigator, this grant will provide me with the time needed to continue my research about improving the use of kidneys available for transplantation,” Dr. Husain continued. “Thousands of patients with kidney disease die every year without receiving a lifesaving kidney transplant.  I hope that by helping improve our ability to assess organ quality, I can make transplantation available to more patients.”
Dr. Husain received the grant as part of the NKF Young Investigator Research Grant Program, which strives to improve the quality of life for those with kidney disease by funding promising young scientists in their research to discover the causes of kidney disease, how to prevent its progression and ways to improve treatment for those living with it today.
“Recent studies have shown that we can help patients live longer by transplanting some kidneys that are currently not used,” Dr. Husain said. “This project will help improve doctors’ ability to decide which kidneys from deceased donors can be successfully used for transplants by standardizing the way they are examined under a microscope. As a result of this improved system of understanding organ quality, more patients will be able to receive a transplant.” The Young Investigator Research Program exists to help Dr. Husain and other innovative researchers whom NKF recognizes to reach such potentially pioneering results.
“In the U.S., over 3,000 deceased donor kidneys were discarded in 2015,” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, and Chief Medical Officer of the National Kidney Foundation. “By convening leaders in transplantation, NKF has been analyzing the discard problem and offering practical solutions since convening a conference in 2017. NKF is pleased to support this study to contribute to understanding how to best select kidneys for life-saving transplantation that might have otherwise been discarded.”
NKF Young Investigator Grants are awarded 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.
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. 
National Kidney Foundation Living Donation Resources
THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform, which provides nationwide outreach, is designed to increase kidney transplantation through training and tools that help patients and families find a living donor. It includes direct patient and caregiver support through our toll-free help line 855-NKF-CARES, peer mentoring from a fellow kidney patient or a living donor, online communities, an advocacy campaign to remove barriers to donation, and a multi-media public awareness campaign. All of these resources are free and designed to teach kidney patients, or their advocates, how to make a “big ask” to their friends, loved ones, or community to consider making a “big give,” a life-saving living organ donation.  For more information visit
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