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Around three million people in the UK have kidney disease

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Kidney Research UK’s 17th Fellows Day exceeded expectations and will go down as a highlight of the year for all those involved.

The two-day conference took place at Swansea University’s Bay campus, which is on the former BP Transit site in Neath Port Talbot.

Between presentations, delegates were treated to magnificent views across the bay as the campus sits right on the sea front.

As always, extremely high quality and inspiring talks were delivered by clinicians, scientists, professors, students and patients from across the renal community.

Sandra Currie, Kidney Research UK CEO, said: “Fellows Day 2017 has been a great success thanks to the exciting, inspiring and motivational people who took part. I’m proud to say our annual investment in research has more than doubled in the past four years and, last year, we funded around £6.7million. But, of course, it’s not enough.”

Sandra continued: “The research we fund is patient driven and patient inspired, and it was so lovely to have some patients join us at the conference, including Kola Ponnle, a transplant patient from South Wales. Their contribution and unique perspective always brings out the real human value of the research presented.”

Summing up how he felt about the conference, Kola said: “Listening to the keynote speakers, poster presenters and oral presentation speakers was overwhelming in a very good way. They may be racing to find a breakthrough in the treatment of kidney disease, but in hindsight, they are really making miracles.”

Fellows Day 2017 was a chance for attendees to catch up with some familiar faces by hearing from researchers who have been the recipients of Kidney Research UK awards.

As always, it is the patients who drive the research and the patients made a big impact over the two days. Researchers were humbled by a patient perspective talk on atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS) by aHUS advocate, Len Woodward, and patient Kelly Nott.

Among the other patients attending was Patricia Gooden, who presented the Trevor Cook award for best communicated research from a patient’s perspective, to Dr Sara Namvar, for her presentation looking at genes and the biological clock to address the problem of peritoneal thickening in peritoneal dialysis, entitled: Modelling Smart Biological Therapies to Prevent Peritoneal Fibrosis.

Dr Mark Findlay won the Best Oral Presentation award for his presentation on discrepancies in stroke care of patients with end stage kidney disease. Dr Liz Wallin won the Best Poster Presentation for her presentation on the use of T cells to prolong the lifespan of transplants.

The Fellows Day 2017 award winners

From l to r: Dr Liz Wallin, Professor Donald Fraser, Sandra Currie, Dr Mark Findlay and Dr Sara Namvar.

A big thank you must also go to Kidney Research UK’s industry supporters who made the day possible.

Funding was provided by Alexion Pharma, Astellas Pharma Ltd, Armgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ipsen, Janssen, MedImmune, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals UK, Pharmacosmos UK, Sandoz Ltd, Sanofi Genzyme, Shire, Simbec Orion Group, and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma.

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