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Understanding how kidney failure leads to heart disease

Associate Professor Natasha Rogers, Institution: University of Sydney

2021 Vanguard Grant  

Years funded: 2022-2023  

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are interrelated: disease of one organ causes dysfunction of the other, ultimately leading to the failure of both. This is known as cardiorenal syndrome. CVD is the major cause of death in patients with CKD, rather than progression to end-stage kidney disease. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors , such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are treatable in the general population, but clinical trials that control these factors are ineffective in CKD patients. This suggests that non-traditional risk factors not targeted by standard therapies should be explored as novel contributors to cardiorenal syndrome. Associate Professor Natasha Rogers' project identifies and characterises a new role for the recently discovered protein thrombospondin-1 (TSP1) as central to the development of cardiorenal syndrome. A greater understanding of mechanisms that underlie cardiorenal syndrome will generate new knowledge and treatment strategies that have broad relevance for heart health.

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