Two University of Utah School of Medicine kidney specialists are among 15 scientists selected from 123 researchers worldwide to receive grants for research on more effective treatments of kidney disease.
Dr. Alfred K. Cheung, associate professor in the nephrology division of the Department of Internal Medicine, was awarded $120,000 over three years. Dr. Mahmoud Loghman-Adham, assistant professor in the department of pediatrics' division of nephrology, has received a three-year, $117,000 grant.The grants were awarded by Baxter International's Extramural grant program. Baxter developed the first artificial kidney dialysis device in 1956 and has been involved in renal disease research and treatment development since that time.
According to Cheung, whose research is on kidney dialysis, between 80 percent to 85 percent of dialysis patients use hemodialysis - a procedure that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove certain impurities from the blood.
His research focuses on the compatibility of this artificial membrane with the human body and understanding what causes reaction between foreign materials and human tissue. His findings could be significant not only for dialysis treatment, but also in implantation of artificial organs.
Loghman-Adham's primary research focus is investigating the use of phosphonoformic acid to reduce phosphate buildup in the body. He said that when the kidneys fail to eliminate phosphates from the body, the consequences can be devastating for children and debilitating for adults.