Academic & Research Opportunities
Research is fundamental to the NHS in general and there are many opportunities to be involved in research across Yorkshire.
Kidney research in Sheffield dates back to the 1960s with Dr Margaret Platts as the first Reader in Nephrology in 1965 who with Mr John Williams (Consultant Urologist) performed the first kidney transplant in 1968.
This was followed in the 1970s by a range of clinical research activities and innovations in the field of glomerulonephritis, renal osteodystrophy, dialysis adequacy and CAPD. This led eventually to the establishment of the Academic Nephrology Unit at the Medical School and the founding of the Sheffield Kidney Institute at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in 1990 as a focus for the research and educational aspirations for Sheffield nephrology.
Our aim is to conduct the highest quality research in fundamental discovery science, translate key findings to develop novel treatments and ultimately to improve outcomes for kidney patients and their families. Basic research is conducted in dedicated laboratories at the Medical School and clinical research through the Sheffield Kidney Institute (SKI) and the NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. Current active areas of research include the genetics of kidney disease, polycystic kidney disease, renal development, cell signalling, renal imaging, patient decision pathways, renal bone disease and renal epidemiology.
Over 40 post-graduate students have been awarded PhDs and MDs in renal research and over 25 International Society of Nephrology (ISN) fellows have been trained in Sheffield. Currently, the unit hosts an NIHR Clinician Scientist, an NIHR Clinical Lecturer, and three NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows.
For more information on research in Sheffield please contact Dr James Fotheringham (firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a variety of kidney research studies for trainees to explore within the Renal Department at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. There is a dedicated renal research nursing team which works alongside clinicians to deliver national NIHR portfolio studies. Recent studies include NUTuRE (unique biobank for chronic kidney disease and idiopathic nephrotic syndrome) and EMPA-KIDNEY (randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of empagliflozin in 6,000 people with chronic kidney disease, with or without diabetes). All trainees will be provided the opportunity to support such studies as sub-investigators and receive the appropriate training in Good Clinical Practice.
Over the years clinicians within the Renal Department have developed a number of different collaborations with academics in the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (LIHS), Leeds Institute of Data analytics (LIDA). A number of trainees have been successful in studying for MDs and PhDs. Current areas of interest include kidney transplant immunology, BK virus nephropathy, acute kidney injury, qualitative research on health inequalities (focusing on BAME), epidemiological/data analytics (e-frailty and outcomes following kidney transplantation/donation).
There is a significant interest in the development of in-vitro diagnostics specific for kidney disease. Dr Andrew Lewington is the Associate Clinical Director for the NIHR Leeds MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-oporative (MIC)https://www.leedsmic.nihr.ac.uk/ The objectives of the MICs is to support the development and design of new diagnostics. The NIHR Leeds MIC is unique in that it is the only MIC that hosts a kidney theme. For more information contact renal research lead - Dr Andrew Lewington (A.J.P.Lewington@leeds.ac.uk) or deputy lead - Dr Sunil Daga (email@example.com)
Research within the academic renal unit in Hull focuses on several areas of Patient Impact including:
1. Patient survival and Quality of life - studies on effects of the kidney on the heart. Over 40% of patients die from cardiovascular disease. Our study PIVOTAL (NEJM 2019), the largest UK dialysis study, has shown a reduction in mortality using IV iron therapy. We continue to study optimal and safe management of renal anaemia, improving functional capacity, patient related outcomes and the introduction of better and safe care pathways for therapy which have impacted guidelines. The unit has a strong record in therapeutics and collaboration with industry in understanding the safety and efficacy of iron therapy in chronic kidney disease and more recently changes in biomarkers of oxidative stress and endothelial function using pulse wave velocity and other measures.
2. Delaying Chronic kidney Disease progression & need for dialysis - our NIHR STOP-ACEi Trial is anticipated to have a major impact on NICE CKD/CVD/HF and DM Guidelines and GIRFT program for clinical practice. There is an opportunity to interrogate this dataset further.
3. Technology Development - applying point of care devices in clinical practice.
4. Reducing Dialysis Mortality – mortality rates are high in the first three months of commencing dialysis. Treatment remains standard. ENDURE examines incremental regimes to reduce mortality & improve clinical outcomes while we are interested in assessing and monitoring dialysis access using various systems.