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One in six Australians has impaired kidney function, with one in three at risk of developing kidney disease. In most cases kidney disease is asymptomatic until almost all function is lost, making early diagnosis challenging. For people who progress to end stage (more than 2,000 people every year), outcomes are worse than for many cancers and the cost of providing renal replacement therapies is high; estimated at >$12b over the coming decade.
The Translational Renal Research group in focussed on improving outcomes for patients with renal diseases, by translating advances in basic science from the bench to the bedside.

Research is focussed on the immune system and how it is affected by immunosuppression, particular in the setting of transplantation. As infectious diseases are a common problem in immunosuppressed patients, by studying host responses to pathogens we can define levels of immune function that may predict the likelihood of disease and use this to better understand the factors that influence disease development.
The main areas of interest for the Translational Renal Research group are:

  1. Host responses to common viruses causing disease after renal transplantation
  2. Quantification of immune function through the assessment of recall antigen responses
  3. Interactions between bacteria and peritoneal mesothelial cells and the development of peritoneal-dialysis related peritonitis
Associate Professor Aron Chakera

Associate Professor Aron Chakera

Translational Renal Research

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Scientists find way to wipe a cell’s memory to better reprogram it as a stem cell

In a groundbreaking study published today in Nature, Australian scientists have resolved a long-standing problem in regenerative medicine. Led by Professor Ryan Lister from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University of Western Australia and Professor Jose M Polo from Monash University and the University of Adelaide,…

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Perkins researcher elected as prestigious new Fellow

Professor Alistair Forrest from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research has been selected alongside 27 new Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Professor Forrest is internationally regarded for his pioneering work, which has been driving forward our understanding of human diseases and the complex behaviour…

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Molecular machines stop cancer’s clock

Head of the laboratory for Synthetic Biology and Drug Discovery, Professor Oliver Rackham, says cancer cells grow uncontrollably whereas normal cells limit their growth. “A normal cell grows for just the right amount of time that is required for us to develop and maintain our bodies. “They control their growth with…

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