July 26, 2019  Print

Dr Sayan Saravanabavan from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research has received a research grant from the PKD Foundation of Australia.

Dr Sayan Saravanabavan
The grant will help fund research by The Westmead Institute for Medical Research’s Polycystic Kidney Disease Group, into autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), a genetic condition in which the kidneys deteriorate because of cysts that grow and destroy healthy kidney tissue.

Left untreated, the condition can progress to kidney failure. Treatment options for kidney failure are very limited – patients may require ongoing dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Dr Saravanabavan, a researcher in the Polycystic Kidney Disease Group said, “Certain people with ADPKD are more likely to develop kidney failure than others.

“We believe that mutations in the genes that regulate mitochondria – the energy producing units of cells – may influence the severity of ADPKD.

“We hope to determine whether these genes do affect ADPKD and, if so, if it can help better identify people with ADPKD who are at higher risk of developing kidney failure, and new approaches for treating the disease.

“I am hopeful that this grant will help us get further in solving ADPKD, and that we can eventually achieve personalised tests and better treatments for people affected by this disease.

“It’s a good feeling to be part of this project. On behalf of the Polycystic Kidney Disease Group, I would like to thank the PKD Foundation of Australia for recognising the importance of this work and supporting it with this vital research grant.”

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