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Multidisciplinary Training in Chronic Kidney Disease: from genetic modifiers to drug discovery

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TrainCKDis (Multidisciplinary Training in Chronic Kidney Disease: from genetic modifiers to drug discovery)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-12-31

The goal of TrainCKDis is to provide high-level training in chronic kidney disease (CKD) - a global public health burden - to a new generation of highly achieving early stage researchers. TrainCKDis will develop scientific skills necessary for thriving careers in an expanding area that underpins innovative technological development across a range of diverse disciplines including nephrology, epidemiology, genetics, cell biology, and drug discovery at the interface of basic molecular, genetic and clinical research. We will achieve this by a unique combination of “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements, courses and workshops on scientific and transferable skills, facilitated by the consortium academic/non-academic composition.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is defined as abnormalities of kidney structure or function, lasting longer than three months. CKD is an increasing global health problem; its prevalence and associated burden are rising worldwide1. CKD affects 10-15% of the population, with unexplained regional variation across Europe. About 70 million Europeans have suboptimal kidney function and are at increased risk of kidney failure, a fatal condition without renal replacement therapies (RRT) such as dialysis or transplantation.

The key research challenges are:
1) Identify genetic and epigenetic modifiers that predispose patients to CKD progression;
2) Uncover signalling pathways and innovative biomarkers essential for monitoring disease evolution and clinical trials outcomes;
3) Discover novel therapeutic targets to expand the limited CKD treatments.
CKD progression rate varies considerably among individuals exposed to the same risk factor. We aim to understand the biological nature of CKD progression by capitalizing on data from unique human cohorts on deeply phenotyped individuals.

We cannot understand the molecular pathway leading to CKD progression yet and therefore it is more difficult to identify efficient biomarkers. The purpose of TrainCKDis is here to discover molecular signatures to predict CKD progression and possible treatment efficacy.

There is few treatment that are capable to slow down CKD progression. Through experimental in vivo and in vitro models for CKD, we aim to elucidate novel targetable molecular pathways.

As stated above CKD represents a global health problem affecting 10-15% of the population. CKD is associated with impaired quality of life, reduced life expectancy and risk of cardiovascular disease. The cost or treating CKD and its implication including kidney failure is high and a burden for healthcare system.