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Appointment of new National Director of Research

February 6, 2015 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is very pleased to announce the appointment of Elisabeth Fowler to the position of National Director of Research, effective March 2nd, 2015. Elisabeth Fowler Ms Fowler has a very successful background in the health, research and pharmaceutical sectors, with extensive experience relevant to her new role in areas such as health research management, partnership development, public policy, marketing, and patient and volunteer engagement.
Elisabeth Fowler will arrive at The Kidney Foundation from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, where she has served the past five years as the Assistant Director of the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. Ms. Fowler previously spent over eight years in various positions including Partner and Vice-President Policy at World Health Strategies, and its predecessor Ward Health Strategies, which are consulting firms specializing in issues common to the pharmaceutical industry and patient groups. Ms. Fowler has also worked at Rx&D, the umbrella body for Canada’s research-based pharmaceutical companies, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson, the Montreal YMCA, and Canadians for Health Research.


Disability Tax Credit Consultations

November 10, 2014 - As you may be aware, the Disability Tax Credit Promoter’s Restriction Act (DTCPRA), which received Royal Assent on May 29, 2014, proposes to limit the fees that a promoter may charge to complete a Disability Tax Credit (DTC) request.

Starting this month, the CRA will begin in-person and online consultations seeking the views of Canadians with disabilities and their supporting persons, promoters, tax professionals, qualified practitioners and members from the general public. This feedback will help the CRA establish regulations setting the maximum fees allowable under the Act, as well as to identify individuals who may be exempt from the Act’s reporting requirements. The CRA is also looking for suggestions on how to simplify the DTC process and clarify the steps Canadians need to take to apply for the credit.

Your participation and feedback are important to the CRA and will be essential in helping protect people with disabilities from paying excessive fees for assistance with a DTC request as well as improve the DTC process.

Find out more information and how to participate here.

Don Cherry and Terry Leon receive Kidney Foundation Awards

Sept 18, 2014 – Mississauga, Ontario – Don Cherry and Terry Leon received National Awards at The Kidney Foundation of Canada 50th Anniversary Breakfast in recognition of their outstanding commitment to raising awareness of organ donation and the importance of early risk assessment for kidney disease. Their family experiences with kidney failure are poignantly shared in the Foundation’s 50 Kidney Stories anniversary magazine.

Don Cherry – Recipient, Kidney Foundation of Canada Fund Development Award
 “On World Kidney Day in March 2013, Don Cherry donated his much-loved SUV to the Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Car Program,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “He used his donation to raise public awareness of both the program and organ donation. Funds raised through the Kidney Car program help us spread the word about organ donation, support programs for kidney patients and fund research into kidney disease and treatments. In Ontario alone, the Kidney Car program has experienced a 38% increase in 2013 and continues to see amazing growth through 2014 thanks to Don.”

 “I am really touched by this award from The Kidney Foundation. Our family was blessed that my daughter Cindy could donate a kidney to my son Tim when he had kidney failure at age 15. Organ donation is one of the best treatments for kidney failure, yet every year Canadians die waiting for a transplant. I don’t feel I can do enough to give back for what we were lucky to receive when my son needed it most,” says Don Cherry.

Terry Leon – Recipient, Kidney Foundation of Canada Public Awareness Award
Terry Leon, CEO of Leon’s Furniture Canada, is among the first members of the Canadian business community to have “put a face to risk factors for kidney disease” by way of a public service announcement. Both his father and uncle had kidney disease and underwent dialysis treatment for kidney failure. “Terry Leon’s participation in The Kidney Foundation’s  I am One 50th Anniversary Public Service Announcement campaign, and his public acknowledgement that his father was one of the many Canadians affected by kidney disease, shows great leadership, humility and courage,” says Paul Shay. “Television stations across Canada played the Public Service Announcement nearly 2,000 times.”

 “I am honoured and grateful for this recognition but I must add that I truly believe that greater public awareness of kidney disease risk factors and a greater accent on prevention can improve kidney health outcomes,” says Terry Leon. He quickly adds with a smile, “And naturally, for those who haven’t done it yet, I strongly encourage you to take the online risk assessment at”

To learn about other Awardees, visit:

For further information, please contact:
Irene Aguzzi,, T: 1.800.361.7494, ext. 227, Cell: 514.458.5342
Wendy Kudeba,, T. 1.800.387.4474 ext. 4980, Cell: 416.735.8408

Download this press release (pdf)

International Alport Syndrome Meeting Report Published

July 15, 2014 - The 2014 International Workshop on Alport Syndrome, held in Oxford, UK in January 2014, published its report in the July issue of Kidney International. Support for this Workshop is part of The Kidney Foundation’s collaboration with  other organizations to pool resources to generate new knowledge to reduce the burden of kidney disease and raise awareness of this rare genetic condition.

“The Kidney Foundation of Canada was proud to support this workshop” says Dr. Julian Midgley, President of the Kidney Foundation and Workshop participant, “It was an important step forward in furthering research and clinical care for Alport Syndrome”.

Download the 2014 International Workshop on Alport Syndrome report

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is currently funding the following research on Alport Syndrome:

•    Dr. Judith Savige 2014 – 2015
Correction of the genetic defect in Alport Syndrome using the TALEN approach
The University of Melbourne (Aus)
(co-funded with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (US) and Pedersen Family)

•    Dr. Stefano Da Sacco 2014 - 2015
Podocyte response to injury in Alport Syndrome: an answer from human amniotic fluid kidney progenitors
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Cal.
(co-funded with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (US) and Pedersen Family)

Research on Alport Syndrome previously funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada:

•    Dr. Oliver Gross 2013 – 2014
Nephroprotective and antifibrotic potential of Micro-RNA21 in the COL4A3 mouse model of Alport Syndrome
University Medical Centre Goettingen (Ger)
(co-funded with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (US), the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Pedersen family)

•    Dr. Christopher Licht 2012 – 2013
Eculizumab in Alport Syndrome
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
(co-funded with the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Pedersen family)

•    Dr. York Pei 2012 - 2013
Systems biology approach to identify novel therapeutic targets for Alport Syndrome
University Health Network, Toronto
(co-funded with the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Pedersen family)

•    Dr. Judith Savage 2013 – 2014
Derivation and characterisation of induced pluripotent stem cell lines from patients with X-linked Alport Syndrome - a model for examining mechanisms and therapies
The University of Melbourne (Aus)
(co-funded with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (US), the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Pedersen family)

Government of Canada Proposes Changes to Nutrition Information on Food Labels

July 14, 2014 - Health Canada launched a series of online public consultations on proposed changes that will improve the way nutrition information is presented on labels. The proposed label changes, such as including potassium on the nutrition facts table, reflect feedback received by Health Canada from parents and consumers during round table sessions and an online consultation in the winter 2014. 

The overall goal of the proposed changes is to provide Canadians with the nutrition information they need to make informed decisions about the foods they buy and prepare for themselves and their families.

The online consultations will run for 60 days, from July 14 to September 11, 2014.

Canadians are invited to review the proposed changes (listed below) and participate in the online consultation:

   Fact Sheet - Proposed Changes to the Look of the Nutrition Facts Table and the List of Ingredients
   Fact Sheet - New Serving Size Guidelines to Make Comparing Foods Easier
   Fact Sheet - Better Understanding the Sugar Content of Our Foods


KFOC, Pedersen Family and Partners award two new 2014 Alport Syndrome Research Grants

June 17, 2014 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Pedersen Family, the Macquarie Foundation and the Alport Syndrome Fondation are pleased to announce that they have jointly awarded funding for two research projects on Alport Syndrome.

Dr. Judy Savige of the University of Melbourne and Dr. Sharon Ricardo of Monash University (Australia) were awarded $100,000 for a one-year study on Correction of the genetic defect in Alport syndrome using the TALEN approachClick here to read Dr. Savige’s and Dr. Ricardo’s full research abstract.

Dr. Stefano Da Sacco of Children's Hospital Los Angeles was awarded $100,000 for a one-year study on Podocyte response to injury in Alport Syndrome: an answer from human amniotic fluid kidney progenitors. Click here to read Dr. Da Sacco's full research abstract.

Dr. Adeera Levin Awarded Kidney Foundation of Canada’s 2014 Medal for Research Excellence

June 2, 2014 – For her outstanding accomplishments in kidney disease research, Dr. Adeera Levin has been awarded the 2014 Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence. Dr. Levin, a nephrologist and researcher at St. Paul’s Hospital, Providence Health Care, and the University of British Columbia, is the first BC researcher to receive this award. Recently named President (2015 to 2017) of the International Society of Nephrology, she is the second woman and first Canadian ever elected to this post. She is also the inaugural editor of the new Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease (CJKHD), an open-access scholarly publication and the first of its kind to serve the Canadian nephrology community.

Innovative Research 
Dr. Levin’s research has focused on the early development of kidney disease and its association with other conditions, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD). Her description of unique abnormalities in the physiology of kidney patients with CVD such as remarking the presence of anemia and abnormal levels of vitamin D, phosphate and parathyroid hormone (PTH), was novel and resulted in a series of basic research collaborations to better understand the biology of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and CVD.

As lead investigator of the  Prediction of Death, Dialysis and Interim Cardiovascular Events (CanPREDDICT) study, a large pan-Canadian project, she seeks to understand the factors leading to renal and cardiovascular disease progression in CKD patients. This new translational program, a first for nephrology in Canada, will study the genetic information (genotype) and observable characteristics (phenotype) of 2,500 patients.

Outstanding Patient Care, Mentorship and Knowledge Translation Work
Head of the Division of Nephrology at the University of British Columbia and Executive Director of the BC Renal Agency, Dr. Levin has leveraged her epidemiological training, clinical knowledge and health outcomes research to develop an evidence-based system that enhances the care of patients across the continuum of care, from diagnosis to treatment.

“Dr. Adeera Levin has always emphasized the importance of collaboration and evidence-based medicine, and its acquisition when it is lacking, to guide patient care or health care resource allotment,” says Dr. Michelle Hladunewich, Head of the Divisions of Obstetric Medicine and Nephrology at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “Her collaborative spirit is most notable. It extends beyond her countless trainees to the many young investigators across Canada, introducing them to international opportunities.”

Dr. Levin is Chair of both the national Curriculum Task Force for the Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) program, where she mentors promising young researchers, and of the Knowledge User group of the Canadian Kidney Knowledge Translation and Generation Network (CANN-NET), where she coordinates pan-Canadian studies in CKD. She also chaired the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) CKD Work group, responsible for the updated 2012 diagnostic and treatment guidelines. Dr. Levin has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications, numerous book chapters and co-edited a text book on chronic kidney disease.

Download the press release


March is Kidney Health Month: Are You at Risk for Kidney Disease?

Take 10 Minutes to Find Out

March 13, 2014 – This March, Kidney Health Month, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is launching a free Online Risk Assessment tool for kidney disease at and a new public service announcement (PSA) to help raise awareness. The PSA features Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, whose family has suffered from conditions that cause kidney disease.

“During the Kidney Foundation’s 50th anniversary year, we’re taking extra steps to empower individuals to actively engage in their kidney health care,” says Paul Shay, the charity’s National Executive Director. ”Thanks to celebrity spokesperson Alex Lifeson’s participation in a new public service announcement, we are able to help raise awareness of the risk factors for kidney disease. Canadians will also have a health information e-tool at their fingertips and a printed risk assessment they can share with their healthcare provider – crucial resources for their kidney health management.”

In many cases, kidney disease can be prevented or managed and kidney failure avoided. When kidney disease is inevitable, as is the case with some genetic forms, finding out early can make the difference between life and death.

Download the full press release (pdf)


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