Around three million people in the UK have kidney disease

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New chair for the charity’s board of trustees

Kidney Research UK is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Jeremy Hughes as Chair- Elect. Professor Hughes will take up the Chair following the charity’s AGM in September 2018, succeeding Professor John Feehally.

Jeremy Hughes
Jeremy Hughes

Professor Feehally was appointed as a trustee of the charity in 2014 and has been Chair since September 2015. In welcoming Professor Hughes’ appointment, he said: “As a respected clinician and senior researcher, Jeremy’s experience and vision for the future of renal science will be a major asset to Kidney Research UK.

“Kidney disease remains a growing problem and we need to invest more in innovative research and building research capacity to find the answers that patients expect. In meeting these challenges, I know that the charity will continue to thrive under Jeremy’s chairmanship.”

Kidney Research UK chief executive Sandra Currie said: “We are very pleased to welcome Professor Hughes as chair elect of the board of trustees. He has already played a pivotal role, not only as Chair of the Research Grants Comitee for the past five years, but also in our awareness and policy work. His experience and knowledge will be invaluable in the coming years.”

Currently as Professor of Experimental Nephrology at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Professor Hughes combines clinical, research and teaching roles. His research work focuses on the involvement and role of white blood cells called macrophages as well as growth factors and various mediators in kidney injury, scarring and healing.

Professor Hughes recently stepped down as Chair of Kidney Research UK’s Research Grant Committee, a post he has held since 2013.

He said:

"I am delighted to be taking on this role at Kidney Research UK later in the year. I look forward to working with the team to build on the charity’s successes as we strive towards a future free from kidney disease.”

In an interview for Kidney Research UK’s Update magazine last autumn, Professor Hughes shared his views with supporters on his work and that of the charity’s Research Grants Committee. When asked what sparked his passion for renal research, he said: “I first encountered renal medicine as a junior doctor at the Hammersmith Hospital and decided to specialise in this area. I worked with Professor Andy Rees and Professor Charles Pusey during my renal registrar job and they inspired me to undertake a period of research leading to a PhD. My PhD supervisor was John Savill (now Professor Sir John Savill) and he was a great supervisor and mentor for my future career. He passed on a love for macrophages, which are so important in inflammation, scarring and healing of many organs including the kidney.

“I remain fascinated by their complexity and elegance and much of my current research investigates macrophages in kidney disease, as well as in liver and brain injury.”

Prof Hughes also expressed his enthusiasm for the volume and quality of new research projects coming forward, adding: “Kidney Research UK are not able to fund all of the research proposals which are scientifically worthy of support – and this is frustrating. However, I know that the charity is working very hard to try and increase the funding available for research. I believe it is important to invest in and support the best basic science and clinical researchers because, if we allow them to establish and develop their work, then they will attract additional funding from other areas to increase research into kidney disease.”