Story by Lauren Cruse

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) awarded UNM a $2 million grant to study the genetics of pediatric kidney disease. This is an international collaborative study involving over 1,400 children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) headed by Craig Wong, MD, MPH, UNM Children's Hospital Division of Pediatric Nephrology.

The study is titled Pediatric Investigation of Genetic Factors for Renal Progression (PediGFR). UNM will be the lead institution in coordinating the study involving 55 pediatric nephrology centers across North America and 33 centers across the European Union.

Wong will work with an international team of genetic epidemiologists, genetic statisticians, and experts on progressive kidney failure to identify genetic factors associated with kidney function decline in children suffering from CKD.

Identification of these factors will give experts a better understanding of why kidneys fail in children and will provide insights for new treatments for pediatric CKD.

CKD is an urgent public health problem worldwide. Children with CKD live with the consequences of abnormal renal function their entire lives. The complications include stunted growth, anemia, bone disease, and eventual life-long need for dialysis or kidney transplant.

The costs of dialysis and kidney transplant represent a significant portion of the health care budget of the U.S. New therapies to prevent kidneys from failing are needed. For more information visit: NIDDK.


Media contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690; e-mail: lcruse@salud.unm.edu