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Dr. Jeffrey Dickhout, nephrology researcher at St. Joseph’s Hamilton and assistant professor at McMaster University, has been awarded the prestigious KRESCENT New Investigator Award by the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Annually, only a few researchers across Canada are selected as the recipient of this distinguished award.

Along with Ph.D. student Rachel Carlyle, Dr. Dickhout has identified a drug which successfully assists in preventing kidney damage caused by kidney disease in mouse models. The KRESCENT New Investigator Award provides the research team with funding and support, which could lead to potential development of drugs that could change the way kidney disease is treated.

“When the kidneys become injured, they are unable to filter blood and fold proteins adequately,” explains Dr. Dickhout. “Our research concluded that a chemical chaperone called 4-phenylbutyrate inhibits the expression of the CHOP/GADD153 gene, which protects the kidney from further damage.”

This drug could also improve the quality of life for those with acute kidney injury by helping them to retain the function of healthy kidneys, such as regulation of electrolytes and maintenance of normal blood pressure.

The KRESCENT New Investigator Award is presented to researchers who have demonstrated excellence during their pre- and post-doctoral training in kidney disease. The award was designed to assist leading researchers new to nephrology research to become established as a fully independent investigator in the field of kidney disease.

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