The Kidney Foundation of Canada

2005 KFOC Medal for Research Excellence

Dr. Anthony Jevnikar

For his outstanding work in the field of kidney disease and transplantation, Dr. Anthony Jevnikar was awarded The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Medal for Research Excellence on October 14, 2005.

Both a clinical and basic science researcher, Dr. Jevnikar has made significant contributions in the areas of renal injury and immunotherapy over the past 14 years. He is Director of Transplantation Nephrology at the London Health Sciences Center and Professor of Medicine, Immunology and Microbiology at The University of Western Ontario in London.

Dr. Jevnikar’s primary research interest lies in the molecular mechanisms of renal transplant injury – a principal cause of premature graft failure. Following a transplant, the kidney’s response to stress and inflammation includes the expression of certain molecules within the tubular epithelial cells, which regulate the nature and consequence of injury. Dr. Jevnikar’s findings reveal that the susceptibility or resistance to injury of these cells directly influences the long-term function of the new organ. He believes that these findings, in combination with existing therapies, will contribute to more effective strategies to optimize survival of the transplanted organ.

He has also worked extensively to develop novel expression and drug delivery systems. He and his team, for example, are collaborating with agricultural scientists and molecular biologists to create transgenic plants that express human proteins for topical and oral delivery of proteins that modulate the body’s immune response. Using genetically altered plants to create and deliver biotherapeutics may represent a unique strategy in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as Type I diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and lupus, as well as organ rejection.

Dr. Jevnikar has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in highly respected journals. He has trained and mentored medical residents, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory and has served on numerous local, national and international committees as an advisor in the area of transplantation. A past president of the Canadian Society of Transplantation, he has also participated on many grants panels, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). With his multi-disciplinary and innovative approach to research, Dr. Jevnikar is bridging the bench to bedside gap and setting the stage for future generations of clinician researchers in Canada.

Through the funding of research initiatives and related clinical education, The Kidney Foundation's Research Program supports investigators like Dr. Jevnikar in their quest to expand the boundaries of science and explore new treatment options that will improve the quality of life of Canadians.