• Kidney disease

Location: QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Herston)

Type of student: 

  • Both HDR and Extra-curricular
  • Honours students
  • PGY1: Post-graduate year 1
  • PGY2: Post-graduate year 2 

Type of work: 

  • Wet lab work

Brief synopsis:

BACKGROUND: Kidney disease is a major public health burden in Australia. Most notably, the incidences of acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) within Australia are increasing. Loss of kidney function is driven by a wide range of insults (e.g. toxins, genetic disorders). Irrespective of the underlying aetiology, all triggers initiate pathways of tubulointerstitial injury (i.e. oxidative stress, cell death, inflammation). These pathobiological pathways have been extensively studied in experimental animal models, however, clinical translation of this knowledge to humans is lacking.

AIM: In this study, we will interrogate the cellular and molecular pathways of tubulointerstitial injury in novel RBWH cases of AKI and CKD.

APPROACH: Renal biopsy tissue from novel case studies will be examined for pathways of oxidative stress, cell death and inflammation by quantitative immunohistochemistry (Q-IHC).

EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES: Our findings will identify the pathobiological mechanisms driving these novel cases of kidney disease, enabling the development or re-purposing of therapeutics targeting the cellular and molecular pathways identified in this study. Students will gain relevant skills in clinical research (database management and competence in complex laboratory techniques), with results generated during the research project contributing to high impact publication/s.

Prerequisite skills: No prerequisite skills required for the project - although previous experience in a wet lab research environment is preferred.


Dr Andrew Kassianos

Senior Scientist
Conjoint Kidney Research Laboratory, Pathology Queensland