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Support renal research within the Kolling Institute

You can help us reduce the global prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease and improve patient outcomes.  

Donate to renal research

Research highlight

Shark Antibody-Based
  • Developing a new anti-body based treatment using nano (shark) antibodies. 
  • Using these antibodies to block CXCR4 which can cause kidney inflammation and CKD. 
  • These antibodies have shown promising results in preventing the development of kidney disease.

Research highlight

Targeted Gene
  • New research involving the deletion implicated in the development of kidney disease.
  • CRISPR-Cas9 technology allows us to remove, add or alter sections of the DNA sequence.
  • We currently have two gene therapy targets in development.

Research highlight

3-D Kidney Organoid from Bench to Bedside
  • Kidney organoids have emerged as advanced in vitro models of kidney development, physiology and disease for research.  
  • Current conventional research models, such as static cell cultures and animal models are insufficient to reflect the complexities of CKD.

Why support our renal disease research?

The global prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) continues to increase with over 843 million people affected today.

In Australia, CKD affects 1.7 million people in our community – but a staggering 1.5 million are not even aware they have it.

The renal research team’s overarching goal is to improve the lives of patients with CKD.

We are working to achieve this by:

  • Generating new knowledge about the cause of progressive kidney disease
  • Developing new diagnostic tests to predict those who will develop kidney failure
  • Discovering new medicines to prevent and treat kidney disease
  • Applying our discoveries to human clinical trials
  • Bringing new tests and therapies to market with our industry colleagues

Your donations will provide crucial funding necessary for furthering our research efforts and translating it into clinical practice to improve outcomes for patients.

Research areas of strength

Our renal research team collaborates internationally, with pharmaceutical companies and smaller Australian biotech companies to transfer their research into clinical practice. Currently they are involved in a number clinical trials investigating chronic kidney disease, dialysis and transplantation including:  

  • Targeting inflammatory pathways known to be upregulated in kidney disease
  • Limiting kidney scarring in models of transplantation to ensure longevity of transplant kidney function
  • Non-invasive determination of patients at risk of progressive diabetic/non-diabetic kidney disease
  • Prevention of chronic kidney disease though limiting transmission of maternal to foetal risk of chronic kidney disease
  • Fibre supplements to improve glycaemic control and reduce chronic kidney disease
  • Normalising the function of the mitochondria in progressive chronic kidney disease
  • Development of therapeutics against promising targets in chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetic kidney disease-early detection and potential treatment

The Royal North Shore Hospital Renal Clinical Trial Unit has a strong research history, participating in Phase 2 to Phase 4 clinical research for more than 20 years.  

The Renal Clinical Trial Unit is led by a clinician supported by two full time trial coordinators and a part time research associate.  

At any given time, our team coordinates 15 to 25 investigator-initiated or industry sponsored clinical trials, while also working in a busy clinical environment caring for patients with kidney diseases. 


Some examples of clinical trials currently taking place:  

  • TRACK: Treatment of cardiovascular disease with low dose rivaroxaban in advanced CKD 
  • CARSK: Screening for asymptomatic coronary artery disease in kidney transplant candidates populations 
  • REDUCCTION: Reducing the burden of dialysis catheter complications in patients with kidney disease 
  • CLARITY: Controlled evaluation of angiotensin receptor blockers for COVID-19 respiratory disease 

Introducing some of the Renal Research team

Professor Carol Pollock

Renal Research Lead at the Kolling Institute

Professor Pollock is an academic nephrologist and renal transplant physician. She was awarded the Order of Australia in 2021 for her distinguished service to medical research, education, and science, to nephrology, and to clinical practice and governance. Professor Pollock has authored over 350 publications relevant to kidney disease and its treatment. You can hear more about her research in our podcast.

Associate Professor Xin-Ming Chen

Professor Chen is a senior medical scientist in the Renal Research Laboratory at the Kolling Institute. His research aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms underpinning progressive diabetic nephropathy.

Associate Professor Sonia Saad

Associate Professor Saad’s research interest is in progressive renal disease and metabolic disease. She has been studying the mechanisms of chronic kidney disease (CKD) development and progression for 20 years. Associate Professor Saad joined the Kolling Institute in 1999 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019.Current projects:

Associate Professor Sarah Glastras

Associate Professor Sarah Glastras is a Consultant Endocrinologist at the Northern Sydney Endocrine Centre and a Staff Specialist at Royal North Shore Hospital. She is passionate about researching and treating diabetes and obesity while also preventing diabetes-related complications.

Peter (Ji) Bian

Peter Bian has been doing his PhD in the Renal Research Laboratory at the Kolling Institute since 2020. He completed a medical degree in China and his master’s degree at the University of Sydney. His PhD study is to explore the role of Photobiomodualtion in preventing or retarding the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Umut Rende

Umut Rende joined the Kolling Institute in 2020 after starting his PhD at the UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering. He is investigating pathological mechanisms in progressive scarring (fibrosis) and its regression in kidneys and aims to discover new drug targets to cure chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Dr Natassia M Antoinette Rodrigo

Dr Rodrigo is an Endocrinologist and PhD candidate at the Renal Research Laboratory at the Kolling Institute. Her projects centre on the intersection of diabetes, obesity, and maternal and offspring metabolic and kidney disease. She was awarded the Young Investigator Award for the Australian Diabetes Society in 2020, and an outstanding abstract award at the US Endocrinology Conference in 2021.

Dr Eveline Staub

Dr Staub is a neonatologist at Royal North Shore Hospital and joined the renal research team in 2020 in pursuit of a PhD, investigating the kidney development in preterm babies. Her research aims to discover how an early birth changes the kidney development and how this process puts preterm born individuals at risk of high blood pressure and kidney disease later in life.

Dr Long The Nguyen

Dr. Long The Nguyen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Renal Research Laboratory at the Kolling Institute and a MTPConnect REDI Fellow. He has a background in cancer research, metabolic disorders, cognitive disorders, fetal programming, and kidney disease. He is working closely with Pharmaxis, an Australian Pharmaceutical company, to develop treatments for kidney fibrosis.

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