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Researcher honoured for contribution to better understanding and treating kidney disease

Institute News
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 2:28pm

Murdoch Children's Research Institute’s (MCRI) Dr Tom Forbes has been recognised for his contribution to better understanding and treating kidney disease.  

The Paediatric Nephrologist and Clinician Scientist received the inaugural Tonya Kara Award for Paediatric Research at the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology’s (ANZSN) recent annual scientific meeting.

“This award is of additional significance for me as it is named after a valued New Zealand paediatric nephrology colleague who passed unexpectedly a couple of years ago,” he said. 

Dr Forbes presented one of MCRI’s Kidney Regeneration Group’s latest kidney research at the ANZSN meeting.

He said the study, published in Science Advances, discovered a new gene linked to a kidney disorder in children.

“The study confirmed mutations in the gene NOS1AP are linked to nephrotic syndrome, a condition that leads to potentially life-threatening protein loss in the urine during infancy,” Dr Forbes said.

The research, led by Boston Children's Hospital’s Professor Friedhelm Hildebrandt, included the first use of lab grown human ‘mini kidneys’ to assist in validating a newly discovered gene with a kidney disease.

Dr Forbes’ research focuses on using ‘mini kidneys’ grown from patient-derived stem cells to learn about the mechanisms behind inherited kidney disease and discover new treatments.