Championing best practices in patient advocacy and education
At the height of his basketball career, Alonzo Mourning was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare and incurable genetic kidney disease with the potential to derail his career and curtail his life.
In his plenary address at WCN’22, Mr. Mourning will recount the story of how he overcame the challenges of his disease to return to play basketball for the NBA. He wants to educate and inspire others not only to get tested, but to advocate for their own health. He says: “I made a living from my body, and I understood the importance of changing my lifestyle to give my body the best chance to continue to thrive after the transplant.”
Designing and implementing more innovative clinical trials
Professor Meg Jardine is director of the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and kidney health research team at the University of Sydney, Australia. She has always been interested in clinical trials as a robust way of finding answers to clinical problems: “Human disease is a hugely complex interplay of genetics, environment, biological compensating and decompensating systems, and treatment effects. Randomization is the best way of overcoming the unconscious assumptions that arise from imperfect knowledge.”
In her talk at WCN’22, Professor Jardine will explore new advances in trial design and the challenges of trial implementation and delivery of care. She explains: “We are currently in a really exciting time for nephrology trials. There is increasing exploration of new designs fed in part by technology advances and the emergence of new potential therapies.”
Professor Vincenzo Cantaluppi researches acute kidney injury (AKI) in hospitalized patients and is director of the Nephrology and Kidney Transplant Unit at Maggiore della Carità University Hospital, Novara, Italy.
In his talk at WCN’22, Professor Cantaluppi will discuss the pathogenic mechanisms of AKI during SARS-CoV-2 infection and compare these with other well-known causes of AKI such as sepsis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and drug toxicity: “I will discuss the direct and indirect causes of AKI during COVID-19, as well as the main mechanisms involved in long COVID syndrome, including the role of AKI in this clinical scenario.”
Robyn Langham previews the WCN'22 program and highlights the benefits of attending online or in person
This year’s chair of the WCN Scientific Committee, Professor Robyn Langham from the University of Melbourne, Australia, shares her top tips for the program and explains the advantages of offering both online access and a real-world meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
“I’m very proud of the program we’ve put together; it’s all really good,” she comments, “but there are some sessions I’m particularly looking forward to. The obvious one is on COVID-19. We’re nearly two years into the pandemic and starting to understand how the disease affects the kidney and kidney patients. We’ve got some fantastic speakers talking about therapeutic options, our molecular understanding of COVID-19, and how we can protect patients who are immunosuppressed.”
Professor Reiko Inagi is a division chief of CKD pathophysiology at the University of Tokyo School of Graduate Medicine in Japan. She is also a deputy chair of WCN’23’s Program Committee. Professor Inagi studies cell organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria and primary cilia, and the role of organelle stress and crosstalk in kidney diseases and kidney aging.
In her talk at WCN’22, Professor Inagi will discuss pathways involved in organelle crosstalk and pathogenic factors in the kidney that she and her colleagues have discovered. “We found that these pathways and factors are deeply involved in the status of lipid and glucose metabolism in kidney cells. In particular, congress participants will learn about the critical roles of metabolic derangements in inflammatory kidney disease and kidney fibrosis from my talk,” she adds.