The Kidney Foundation of Canada

2004 KFOC Medal for Research Excellence

Dr. Daniel Cattran

For his outstanding contributions to new knowledge and the treatment of one of the most important single causes of end-stage renal disease, Dr. Daniel Cattran will receive The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s 2004 Medal for Research Excellence on October 15, in Toronto.

Dr. Cattran joined the Nephrology Division at the Toronto General and Women’s College Hospitals in 1972, following graduation from Medical School at the University of Toronto and postgraduate training in medicine and nephrology in both Toronto and Australia. He has been Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto since 1989 and was previously the Director of Postgraduate Education of Nephrology for the University of Toronto and Deputy Director of the Division of Nephrology at the University Health Network.

An internationally recognized authority on primary glomerular disease, Dr. Cattran has shaped the current consensus on treatment for a range of disorders that collectively represent the most common cause of renal failure between the ages of 5 and 45.

In 1974, Dr. Cattran established the Toronto Glomerulonephritis Registry. Unique in the world at the time, this database was created to provide a complete perspective on these disorders and to help determine the natural history of the different types of glomerular disease. He subsequently used these data to derive hypotheses about the prognosis and designed controlled trials to test his theories. The results of these trials have contributed significantly to the treatment of these diseases. Specifically, he was able to identify patients with stable disease for whom certain therapies were of no benefit, thereby sparing those individuals from the risks of potent drug treatment.

Data that he compiled from the Glomerulonephritis Registry also revealed that a substantial percentage of adults with a particular form of the disease – focal segmental glomerulosclerosis – responded well to the use of prolonged steroid treatment. Since then, it has become the accepted first line treatment for this disease. A later study using data from the Registry uncovered the long-term benefits of treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in patients with severe IgA nephropathy, an immune disorder that causes inflammation and eventual scarring of the tiny filters of the kidney. This treatment has been adopted by most nephrologists as the standard of care in IgA, and now is also used as part of the management of other forms of progressive renal disease.

Most recently, Dr. Cattran has been the lead investigator of a North America-wide collaborative group that has demonstrated the benefits of cyclosporine treatment in two different types of glomerular disease; focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and membranous nephropathy.

His studies and their profound impact on patient care have earned Dr. Cattran international recognition. He is a popular speaker at international conferences, a Past President of the Canadian Society of Nephrology and has contributed to 122 peer-reviewed publications, as well as a number of book chapters in glomerular diseases in prestigious textbooks of Nephrology.