The Kidney Foundation of Canada

2001 KFOC Medal for Research Excellence

Dr. Philip A. Marsden

Dr. Philip A. Marsden, a leading investigator in the area of molecular medicine, is this year's recipient of The Kidney Foundation's Medal for Research Excellence.

Dr. Marsden is renowned for his study of the cellular and molecular regulation of endothelial gene expression as it relates to the renal and cardiovascular system in health and disease. He has worked extensively to understand the role of nitric oxide (NO) as an important signaling molecule that is responsible for maintaining local blood flow to an organ.

Dr. Marsden's findings reveal that E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria present in contaminated food and water markedly affect the endothelium, a layer of cells which lines all the blood vessels of the body. Releasing toxins that damage these cells in the kidney, the bacteria induce hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) or "Hamburger Disease", one of the leading causes of renal failure among children. Through his research, Dr. Marsden hopes to learn more about the control of blood flow by the endothelium and explore new treatment options for this disorder.

Dr. Marsden is a practising nephrologist at St. Michael's Hospital and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He holds the Keenan Chair in Medical Research and has had his findings published in over 50 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals worldwide. In addition, he has earned international recognition for the cloning, characterization and functional expression of a gene that produces nitric oxide within endothelial cells.

Through its support of a broad spectrum of studies, the Kidney Foundation's Research Program enables investigators like Dr. Marsden to remain committed to a discovery process that will ultimately make a positive difference in the lives of kidney patients and their families.