The Kidney Foundation of Canada

Dr. Paul Goodyer 

Dr. Paul Goodyer 

McGill University Health Centre Research Institute, QC

Priming the renal progenitor cell

2018-2020:  $100,000 |  Biomedical Research Grants  |  Category: Kidney development

Lay Summary

Every year in Canada about 4,000 Canadians develop sudden kidney injury (AKI), often from low blood pressure as a complication of some other illness. Among patients in the Intensive Care Unit, the occurrence of AKI doubles the chance of dying. There are no effective therapies for AKI and physicians are usually limited to supportive care such as dialysis while waiting to see if the kidneys will recover. In the past decade investigators have tried to treat AKI by infusing cells from the patient's bone marrow in the hope that these cells will replace the damaged kidney cells; while this cell-based therapy has some helpful effects, the hoped-for goal of repopulating the damaged kidney with viable cells has been unsuccessful. However, we recently discovered that special cells from the kidney have properties which allow them to enter areas of the damaged kidney and repopulate the renal tubule. Similar cells can be gathered from the urine of premature babies. In this project we will study how to optimize the features of these cells might allow us to use them as a treatment for AKI.


A graduate of Harvard University, Dr. Goodyer has been Director, Division of Pediatric Nephrology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital since 1998. His research career spans over 20 years with a particular interest in molecular genetics, a research field that focuses on genes as determinants of all life processes.

Author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in prestigious journals, Dr. Goodyer is a popular and highly-anticipated speaker at international conferences. He has also played a key role in supervising graduate students and post-doctoral fellows throughout his career.