A £2.41 million ($3 million) grant will be used by US researchers to study diabetic kidney disease (DKD), it has been announced.
Diabetic kidney disease is thought to affect up to 40 per cent of people with diabetes, but little is known about the genetics behind the condition.
The cash injection will be used by Dr Katalin Susztak, an associate professor of medicine and genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, to further understand how genetics is involved in the development of DKD.
Susztak and colleagues will recruit around 300 people from 12 medical sites across America and Canada to take part in the study, entitled TRIDENT (Transformative Research In DiabEtic NephropaThy).
The researchers will then collect tissue from people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes who have undergone a kidney biopsy. They hope to investigate how molecular differences vary in the decline of the kidney’s function.
Susztak said: “Integrative analysis of the variables will help us paint a fuller and more accurate picture of the dynamics of the molecular systems that underlie this disease.
“This work is especially important now as the rate of diabetes prevalence in our country, and indeed the world, is continually accelerating.”
Previous research has identified new biomarkers, which have helped identify people who may be at risk of kidney disease, by focusing on levels of the protein Kidney Injury Molecule-1 (KIM-1) in blood and urine.
However, Susztak said that although the markers generated “increased interest” there were still “critical questions” that needed answering.
Three large pharmaceutical companies, Boehringer Ingelheim, GSK and Regenero, teamed up to donate the funding for the study.

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