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Creating Research Infrastructure and Functionality to Address Chronic Kidney Disease: The Kidney Research Institute

      Summary

      An expanding proportion of people in the United States and worldwide are affected by kidney disease, leading to a growing concern over the public health implications. Despite the high prevalence and the considerable associated health risks of kidney disease, major gaps in our knowledge base hinder the delivery of optimal medical care to affected individuals. Moreover, research progress that translates into clinical benefit has been slow. For example, over the past 20 years, there has been no successful implementation of a new therapeutic agent specifically designed for the treatment of glomerular diseases, which in part explains why glomerular diseases remain the leading cause of kidney disease in the United States and worldwide. Similarly, the limitations of current approaches to dialysis as treatment of end-stage kidney disease are becoming more apparent, with marginal improvements in risks for hospitalization or mortality over time. Along with recognition of changes in the public health burden of kidney disease, and perception of limited progress in the clinical treatment of kidney disease, a change in kidney disease research is now underway. We are entering a new era in biomedicine emphasizing interdisciplinary and translational research. We here delineate the purpose, mission, and goals, and describe the evolving vision, infrastructure, and research platform of a new Kidney Research Institute, designed to overcome barriers to researching improvements in effective clinical care.

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