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Dr Tom Forbes
Tom is a Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at the Royal Children's Hospital. He completed his undergraduate medical degree with Monash University in 2005. He trained in paediatric nephrology at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Nottingham University Hospital Queen’s Medical Centre in the UK where he developed an interest in rare, inherited, paediatric renal diseases. He also completed a Post-Graduate Award in the Management of Chronic Kidney Disease with the University of Warwick in Coventry.
Tom returned to Melbourne in 2013 and completed a paediatric nephrology fellowship at the Royal Children's Hospital. He became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2015. He entered laboratory research in 2016 with Prof Melissa Little's Kidney Regeneration group. He completed a PhD documenting the capabilities and limitations of kidney organoids as functional genomic disease models in 2020. Tom has been awarded a Clinician Scientist Fellowship by MCRI to continue his research in kidney organoids and genetic kidney disease in 2020.
- American Society of Nephrology, member since 2018
- International Society of Stem Cell Research, member since 2018
- Australian Society of Stem Cell Research, member since 2017
- Stem Cells Australia, member since 2016
- KidGen Consortium Functional Genomics Team Member since 2016
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians, fellow since 2015
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology, member since 2013
- International Paediatric Nephrology Association, member since 2012
- Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
Poster Award - Kidgen Renal Genetics Symposium (Nov 2017)
International Society for Stem Cell Research Travel Award (June 2018)
Best 3rd Year PhD Poster – Melbourne Children's Campus Research Students Association Student Symposium (Nov 2018)
Overall winner and Audience Choice – Round 1 – 3 Minute Thesis – Melbourne Children's Campus (2019)Tonya Kara Award for Paediatric Nephrology Research - ANZSM ASM (2020)
Tom's research examines uses kidney organoids as inherited renal disease models. He differentiates induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with genetic kidney disease and examines the organoids for evidence of the renal disease and response to novel therapies.
Within the MCRI Kidney Flagship Tom looks for novel causes of genetic kidney disease in patients where next generation sequencing has been unable to identify a causative gene.
In addition to his lab research and clinical work, Tom is named Principle Investigator on two industry-sponsored early phase clinical trials of novel RNA based therapies for primary hyperoxaluria through the Melbourne Children’s Trial Centre (PHYOX2 and PHYOX3, Dicerna and ILLUMINATE-C, Alnylam).
Howden SE, Wilson SB, Groenewegen E, Starks L, Forbes TA, Tan KS et al. Plasticity of distal nephron epithelia from human kidney organoids enables the induction of ureteric tip and stalk. Cell Stem Cell (29th Dec 2020) Published online ahead of print. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2020.12.001
Majmundar AJ, Buerger F, Forbes TA, Klämbt V, Schneider R, Deutsch K et al. Recessive NOS1AP vriants impair actin remodeling and cause glomerulopathy in humans and mice. Science Advances (1st Jan 2021) 7(1):eabe1386.
Phipson B, Er PX, Combes AN, Forbes TA, Howden SE, Zappia L, Yen HJ, Lawlor KT, Hale LJ, Sun J, Wolvetang E, Takasato M, Oshlack A, Little MH. Evaluation of variability in human kidney organoids. Nature Methods. 2019;16:79-87
Little MH, Kumar SV, Forbes TA. Recapitulating kidney development: Progress and challenges. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2018. pii:S1084-9521(17)30426-3.
Forbes TA, Howden SE, Phipson B, Maksimovic J, Hale L, Wilson S, Quinlan C, Ho G, Holman K, Bennetts B, Crawford J, Trnka P, Oshlack A, Patel C, Mallett A, Simons C, Little MH. Patient-iPSC-Derived Kidney Organoids Show Functional Validation or a Ciliopathic Renal Phenotype and Reveal Underlying Pathogenetic Mechanisms. Am J Human Genet. 2018; 102(5):816-31
Little MH, Takasato M., Soo JYC, Forbes TA (2017) Recapitulating Development to Generate Kidney Organoid Cultures. In: Tsuji T. (eds) Organ Regeneration Based on Developmental Biology. Springer, Singapore
Lunn AJ & Forbes TA. Haematuria and proteinuria in childhood. Pediatr Child Health. 2016;26(8):321-7
Forbes TA, Shaw L, Quinlan CQ. Topical Honey in the Managemeng of Pediatric Peritoneal Dialysis Exit Sites. Perit Dial Int. 2016 11-12;36(6):684-687
Forbes TA, McMinn A, Crawford N, Leask, J, Danchin M. Vaccination uptake by vaccine-hesitant parents attending a specialist immunization clinic in Australia. Hum Vacc Immunother. 2015;11(12):2895-903
Forbes TA, Watson AR, Zurowska A et al. Adherence to transition guidelines in European paediatric nephrology units. Pediatr Nephrol. 2014;29(9):1617-24
Forbes TA, Lunn A. Montelukast: a novel therapeutic option in eosinophilic peritonitis. Pediatr Nephrol. 2014;29(7):1279-82
Forbes TA, Bradbury MG, Goodship THJ, McKiernan PJ, Milford DV. Changing strategies for organ transplantation in atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome: a tertiary case series. Pediatr Transplant. 2013; 17(3): E93-E99.
Lunn A, Forbes TA. Haematuria and proteinuria in childhood. Pediatr Child Health. 2012; 22(8): 315-321.
Forbes T, Goeman E, Stark Z, Hynson J, Forrester M. Discussing withdrawing and withholding of life-sustaining medical treatment in a tertiary paediatric hospital: A survey of clinician attitudes and practices. J Paediatr Child Health. 2008; 44: 392-398.
NHMRC Post-Graduate Scholarship - 2016
RACP Jacquot Award for Excellence - 2016
MCRI/RCH Foundation Clinician Fellowship - 2020
PKD Foundation Australia - 2020
Victorian State Government COVID-19 Research Fund - 2020
MCRI Disease Modelling Foundation Project Grant - 2020