Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a common genetic renal disease causing kidney failure in adults. People affected by PKD develop hundreds of cysts in the kidney which grow slowly during adulthood, eventually damaging healthy tissue and leading to kidney failure, pain and high blood pressure. There are about 2000 Australians with PKD who are receiving dialysis or who need a kidney transplant, costing $160 million dollars per year. In order to prevent kidney failure, new and effective treatments that can be safely given to young adults need to be developed urgently.

Our research combines pre-clinical laboratory research with clinical trials in Westmead Hospital, aiming to develop new drugs and treatments that prevent kidney failure in these patients.

Research Directions

Preclinical Research

We are investigating signal transduction pathways of DNA replication to develop new drugs to prevent kidney failure due to PKD.

Clinical Research

We are launching a randomised controlled clinical trial in Western Sydney to determine if an optimal fluid intake reduces the progression of PKD.

This three year study will use MRI to assess the rate of renal cyst growth.

If successful, this approach could slow the rate of progression to dialysis in patients with PKD, and potentially prevent the disease occurring altogether in young adults.