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Nephrology Research and Clinical Trials

Part of what differentiates the University of Chicago Medicine from other health care organizations is our commitment to providing safe and effective care that is driven by research.

Many of our nephrologists’ research efforts are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies – in fact, our kidney stone management program has received more than $20 million in NIH funding since 1976.

Our doctors also participate in industry-sponsored research, meaning they work with pharmaceutical companies and device makers to test new medications and medical or surgical devices.

Areas of Active Study

The University of Chicago Medicine nephrologists actively participate in basic science and clinical research designed to find the causes of, and new treatments for, a variety of kidney disorders. Their areas of study include:

  • Investigating how changes at the cellular level can cause acute kidney injury to occur.
  • Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine whether potential new drugs have successfully treated liver and kidney cysts in people with polycystic kidney disease.
  • Examining the impact a patient's genetic makeup has on the efficacy of certain types of medications.
  • Testing new drugs that help prevent hyperkalemia (high blood potassium levels), a serious medical complication that is common among people with chronic kidney disease.
  • Preventing complications, including infections and organ rejection, following kidney transplant.
  • Preventing Hepatitis B infections in patients who receive hemodialysis.
  • Using plasma and urinary biomarkers to obtain an earlier diagnosis of acute kidney injury.
  • Testing new interventions to determine which hospitalized patients with early acute kidney injury will eventually require dialysis.
  • Assessing new therapies to treat bone disease in patients who are on long-term dialysis.
  • Understanding the reasons why some patients develop kidney stones, and what makes them at risk.
  • Testing new ways to reduce pain in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.

View a list of our active nephrology clinical trials.

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