The Kidney Foundation of Canada

2008 KFOC Medal for Research Excellence

Dr. Paul R. Goodyer

For his world-renowned body of work on the genetic basis for renal disease, Dr. Paul Rowland Goodyer has been awarded The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s 2008 Medal for Research Excellence.

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.

Specifically, Dr. Goodyer’s research has had a direct impact on the identification, classification and treatment of hereditary kidney diseases in children.  He contributed to the identification of the gene mutations responsible for cystinuria, two forms of hereditary bone disease, and Dent’s disease, a rare inherited condition that leads to kidney failure in more severe cases.  With regards to cystinuria, Dr. Goodyer’s research additionally characterized the genetic mutations that underlie the three sub-types of this painful condition that results in stones being formed in the kidney, ureter and bladder.

"Characterizing the “rogue” genes that cause disease is the critical first step along the pathway to finding new treatments,” explains Dr. Daniel Bichet, recognized for his groundbreaking research in the area of diabetes insipidus, and Canada Research Chair on Genetics of Kidney Disease. “Dr. Goodyer’s contribution has been significant because it’s like finding a common “signature”, making it easier to isolate homogenous patient populations to work with.  It also allows us to anticipate the cascade of events that are likely to occur within that population and prepare for more timely interventions.”

Dr. Goodyer’s lab has garnered international recognition for its work on the function of PAX2, a protein essential to the normal development of the kidney and other organs during human development, and its relevance to renal hypoplasia, cancer and polycystic kidney disease.  Recent developments in their findings related to PAX2 have far-reaching implications, contributing to the advancement of knowledge and treatment improvements that transcend Dr. Goodyer’s primary research focus of hereditary renal diseases.

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.  Dr. Michele Zappitelli describes the value of Dr. Goodyer’s mentorship: “Dr. Goodyer has a truly unique ability to simplify complex concepts into workable, testable hypotheses.  He also taught me to remember that, at the end of the day, there are patients with the diseases we are studying, and that our work must have a positive impact on these patients.”