Renal Research Group

The Renal Research Group is investigating how underlying genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors may affect chronic kidney disease risk with a particular emphasis on diabetic kidney disease. Our research is facilitating improvements to patient care and changes to healthcare policy. The Renal Research Group is an integral part of the Centre for Public Health and its programme of research is allied to the strategy of the Centre. The Renal Research Group consists of 6 members of academic staff, 3 members of technical staff, and 6 postgraduate students. Belfast has a long history of clinical and basic research in nephrology, which has been steadily expanding since Professor McGeown published her observations on 100 kidney transplants in Belfast City Hospital (McGeown et al., Lancet, 1977). Laboratory-based research is mainly conducted in a purpose built facility within the Belfast City Hospital tower block.  The Renal Research Group employ a number of research methodologies including population-, clinical- and laboratory-based, with particular emphasis placed on genetic risk and biomarker identification and assessment. Current research funding is from the Diabetes UK, Medical Research Council, Northern Ireland Research and Development Office, Kidney Research UK and Northern Ireland Kidney Research. Researchers from the Renal Research Group work within a multi-disciplinary network of national and international collaborators. We have an excellent record of supervising MPhil, MD and PhD students to completion of their higher degrees and having students work published in peer-reviewed journals. 


Specific Research Themes:

    Diabetic Nephropathy
    End-Stage Renal Disease / Renal Transplant Outcomes
    Epidemiology and Registry work on Kidney Disease
    Other Renal Genetics Projects
    Ongoing clinical trials

Current academic staff members with links to their specific research interests:

     Dr Aisling Courtney
     Dr Damian Fogarty
     Professor Anne Hughes
     Professor Peter Maxwell
     Dr Jennifer McCaughan
     Dr Gareth McKay
     Dr Amy Jayne McKnight