May 4, 2018  Print

Dr Titi Chen, a PhD student from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research supervised by Professor David Harris has been awarded best abstract at the 16th Asian Pacific Congress of Nephrology for her presentation on potential therapies for chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Dr Titi Chen

Dr Chen is investigating the role of certain immune cells, called dendritic cells, in the kidneys. She has found that a subset of dendritic cells can cause complications and injury in kidney disease. If the function of the cell subset is inhibited, researchers can potentially prevent injury from occurring.

Dr Chen, the Australian representative at the conference, said she enjoyed the opportunity to share her work with a broader audience.

“It is wonderful to be able to share our research findings with the wider community. These conferences provided excellent opportunities for knowledge exchange and internal collaboration,” she said.

“We are excited to carry the project forward and look forward to making our mark as we take the long journey of finding treatments for kidney disease."

Although CKD affects one in ten Australians, treatment options are extremely limited. Dr Chen is looking at using a drug that on the market for other illnesses as a potential therapy. By repurposing the drug, Dr Chen may substantially reduce the time and cost behind translating research from her lab into potential treatments for the 1.7 million Australians affected by CKD.

Dr Chen’s project is supervised by Professor David Harris, Dr Yiping Wang and Dr Natasha Rogers.