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Life without kidneys is impossible. Our kidneys are responsible for filtering our blood and removing waste from the body. They also balance water levels, produce hormones and absorb minerals. Every day, 14 Canadians learn that their kidneys are failing, and as many as two million Canadians have been diagnosed with kidney disease.

Today is World Kidney Day – a day that aims to raise the awareness of kidney health and kidney disease worldwide. Our Kidney and Urinary program is the regional referral and kidney transplantation centre in south central Ontario for patients with end-stage kidney disease. We also serve a total of approximately 650 dialysis patients in our community.

In collaboration with the McMaster Division of Nephrology, kidney research at St. Joe’s is expanding more rapidly than any other research area. We are the home of the Hamilton Centre for Kidney Research (HCKR), which combines expertise in clinical and basic research to reduce the risk of kidney disease and its complications.  

Over the last decade, the HCKR has developed from a single nephrologist to include four Clinician-Scientist Investigators, four PhD scientists and more than 45 research staff and trainees.

“One of our goals is to become the premier centre for kidney research in Canada in the next five years,” states Dr. Rick Austin, nephrology researcher at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and professor at McMaster University. “We’re very lucky to be located here and to be partnered with St. Joe’s.”

To celebrate World Kidney Day, our kidney researchers and students have presented their findings in our Campbell Auditorium.


PhD candidate Sonia Padwal explains her research to her colleagues.


By exploring the effects of hypertension, diabetic neuropathy and vascular calcification on our bodies, our researchers are working to discover new treatments for kidney disease and other conditions impacted by kidney disease.

While we celebrate World Kidney Day on March 12th, our commitment to kidney care and kidney research continues year-round. Our physicians, researchers and allied health professionals work tirelessly to ensure that we can provide the best possible treatments and care for those with kidney disease in our community.

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