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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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NUGoKidney P&F Awardee Receives NIH K23 Award to Support Chronic Kidney Disease Research

Anand Srivastava, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine Nephrology and Hypertension, recently received a five-year K23 award from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The study aims to examine whether information about kidney blood flow obtained from contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) will help identify patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are at high risk of experiencing progressive loss of kidney function.

Reductions in kidney blood flow can lead to permanent kidney damage, which can progress to complete loss of kidney function and shorten life span. While current methods to assess CKD (e.g., serum creatinine and albuminuria) improve the ability to assess risk at the population level, they are insufficient to determine which individual patient with mild CKD will experience CKD progression. Kidney biopsies assess intrinsic chronic kidney damage and provide information about a patient’s risk of future kidney function loss. However, kidney biopsies are invasive procedures that carry risks and are not performed in all patients with CKD. To date, imaging is underdeveloped in nephrology, and Srivastava’s research will attempt to provide a better understanding of novel non-invasive imaging biomarkers as a tool to identify patients at high-risk of CKD progression.

In 2018, Srivastava was one of three recipients of NUGoKidney’s Pilot & Feasibility Grant Awards for a project titled, “Detection of Kidney Fibrosis and Vascular Sclerosis Using Contrast Enhanced Ultrasonography.” This study helped him obtain valuable preliminary data for his K23 proposal.

“In our NUGoKidney pilot study, we were able to perform over 30 contrast enhanced ultrasounds in patients with CKD to show the potential of CEUS as a novel, innovative method to assess the severity of CKD,” said Srivastava. “This K23 award will allow our group to advance imaging as a tool to improve our ability to identify patients at high-risk of CKD progression.”

Findings from the K23 award will hopefully also help advance the discovery of new therapies for CKD.

“We still do not have many therapies to treat patients with CKD. Having a better way to identify high-risk patients may facilitate their enrollment into clinical trials for testing of new therapies,” Srivastava explained.

Focused on both research and training, the K23 award will provide Srivastava with advanced, cutting-edge training in image data analysis and imaging biomarker development and validation for use in patient-oriented research studies. He has assembled a multi-disciplinary mentoring team of experts in patient-oriented research in CKD and imaging including:

  • Tamara Isakova, MD, MMSc – Director, NUGoKidney Clinical & Translational Core; Director, Center for Translational Metabolism and Health, Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM); Associate Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Thomas H. Grant, DO – Director of Ultrasound; Professor of Radiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Sushrut S. Waikar, MD, MPH – Division Chief of Nephrology, Boston University Medical Center; Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Jason E. Streeter, PhD - Clinical Assistant Professor of Engineering Science, Loyola University
  • Michael Markl, PhD - Vice Chair for Research, Radiology; Lester B. and Frances T. Knight Professor of Cardiac Imaging, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • James C. Carr, MD –Chair, Department of Radiology; Drs. Frederick John Bradd and William Kennedy Memorial Professor of Radiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Learn more about NUGoKidney's Pilot & Feasibility Program here


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