Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Sri Nagarjun Batchu_Krescent 2015

Dr. Sri Nagarjun Batchu
Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute - St. Michael Hospital
Supervisors: Dr. Andrew Advani and Dr. Kim Connelly


Dr. Sri Nagarjun Batchu will complete his post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Advani and Dr. Kim A. Connelly at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, in Toronto. Dr. Batchu’s project is focused on identifying and developing new treatments for cardiorenal disease.

Kidney disease is a major cause of illness and death amongst Canadians.  When kidney disease reaches the stage where the kidneys stop working, people need treatment with dialysis or with a kidney transplant.  However, many people with kidney disease will never reach this stage but will instead die of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks or heart failure.  The term cardiorenal disease refers to the situation where heart disease and kidney disease affect the same person and where the presence of one of the conditions affects the development of the other.  Dr. Batchu’s project is focused on understanding the role that a particular protein, called HDAC6 plays in the development of kidney disease and heart disease.  HDAC6 is an enzyme that is present in all our cells that works by changing the chemical structure of certain other proteins by a process that is called “deacetylation”.  Dr. Batchu hopes that his work will pave the way to the development of inhibitors (or blockers) of HDAC6 as new treatments that can slow the progression of kidney failure and heart failure in the millions of people at risk.

Carole Campion_Krescent 2015

Dr. Carole Campion
Centre de Recherche du CHUM
Supervisor:  Dr. Johanne Tremblay


Dr Carole G. Campion will pursue her post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr Johanne Tremblay at the CRCHUM-Research Center, Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. Dr Campion wishes to identify new therapeutic strategies for improving tissue repair after renal injury.
The pathophysiology of kidney damage is complex and is further complicated by the fact that renal aggravation often exists in the context of multiple organ failure. At present, due to lack of understanding of signaling culprits involved in the pathogenesis of nephropathy, no promising therapy is available to handle patient’s treatment. Dr Campion’s research focuses on a new candidate therapeutic protein, HCaRG/COMMD5 (Hypertension-related, Calcium-Regulated Gene). This protein has the potential to accelerate recovery of renal tissue integrity and the physiological functions characterized by a reduction of the expression of pro-inflammatory genes after kidney insult. Dr Campion will try to identify potential partners of HCaRG involved at the molecular level as crucial mediators of kidney repair after injury. A better understanding of the signaling pathways is essential for developing new therapeutic strategies to prevent, repair or delay kidney diseases.

Oraly Sanchez-Ferras_Krescent 2015

Dr. Oraly Sanchez-Ferras
Goodman Cancer Research Center-McGill University
Supervisor: Dr. Maxime Bouchard


Dr. Oraly Sanchez-Ferras will pursue her post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Maxime Bouchard at the Goodman Cancer Research Center of McGill University, in Montreal. Dr. Sanchez-Ferras wants to better understand the genetics of CAKUT by studying the molecular pathways and forces that control morphogenesis of the nephric duct during embryonic development.

Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) are of the most frequent congenital disease and a leading cause for end-stage kidney diseases in children. In spite of this clinical relevance, there is still a poor understanding of the genes and molecular mechanisms involved in CAKUT. The nephric duct (ND) or Wolffian duct is a central component of the urogenital system. A failure or inappropriate timing in ND formation, migration, guidance or insertion to the cloaca is a well known cause of CAKUT. Dr. Sanchez-Ferras’s research will aim to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control morphogenesis of the nephric duct (ND) and identify critical regulators of ND collective cell migration downstream of the transcription factor Gata3. For this, Dr. Sanchez-Ferras uses a combination of mouse genetics (particularly the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology), as well as time lapse live imaging. With this strategy, she expects to find potential therapeutic targets for CAKUT and better understand the genetic networks implicated in Kidney diseases.

New Investigator Awards

Ngan Lam_Krescent 2015

Dr. Ngan Lam, MD
University of Alberta


Dr. Ngan Lam is a new investigator and transplant nephrologist (Assistant Professor, Division of Nephrology) at the University of Alberta. She completed her fellowships in Nephrology and Clinical Kidney Transplantation at Western University. Dr. Lam also completed her Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University and is a graduate of the KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2012-2015) under the mentorship of Dr. Amit Garg.

Dr. Lam’s research focuses on the long-term outcomes of kidney transplant recipients, particularly understanding and reducing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular events are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in kidney transplant recipients accounting for 30% of deaths with a functioning graft and remains the number one cause of death in recipients. Her research will utilize healthcare administrative databases to develop her research theme in pharmaco-epidemiology and drug safety in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in Canadian kidney transplant recipients.

Fabrice Mac-Way_Krescent 2015

Dr. Fabrice Mac-Way, MD, FRCPC
CHU de Québec Research Center, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec Hospital


Dr Fabrice Mac-Way is a nephrologist and clinician-scientist at Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec. He is an assistant professor, Division of Nephrology, at Laval University. He completed his post-doctoral training in bone biology at Université de Lyon, St-Etienne where he developped an expertise in assessment of bone microarchitecture, mineralisation and remodelling (bone histomorphometry analysis) in the context of chronic kidney disease.

Bone and mineral disorders affect every patient with CKD and are characterized by anomalies of bone morphology and vessels structure. These anomalies then lead to increased morbidity and mortality through bone fractures and enhanced vascular pathology. Recent studies suggest that osteocytes’ (the most abundant bone cells) anomalies, through sclerostin secretion, may contribute to the development of bone remodelling and vascular defects in CKD population. The objective of Dr Mac-Way’s research is to determine how osteocytes dysfunction lead to bone disorders in CKD through translational researches from animal models to humans. Understanding this new pathway could lead to new therapies to prevent the development of bone and vessels anomalies in the chronic kidney disease population.

Ruth Sapir-Pichhadze_Krescent 2015

Dr. Ruth Sapir-Pichhadze
McGill University


Dr. Sapir-Pichhadze is a new investigator at the McGill University Health Centre and an Assistant Professor, Division of Nephrology and Multi-Organ Transplant Program, McGill University. She completed subspecialty training in nephrology and kidney transplantation at the University of Toronto. She also completed the Eliot Phillipson Clinician Scientist Program and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Clinician Investigator Program, where she undertook a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research. Her PhD focused on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and prognosis of antibody-mediated injury secondary to anti-human leaukocyte antigen antibodies in kidney transplant recipients and candidates.

Rejection is the leading cause of kidney transplant loss. Antibody-mediated rejection occurs when kidney transplant recipients develop antibodies towards the donor. Donor-specific antibodies emerge as a consequence of structural incompatibility between donor-recipient human leukocyte antigens. The objective of Dr. Sapir-Pichhadze’s research is to identify strategies to minimize such mismatches between donors and recipients and thereby diminish the risk of rejection and kidney transplant loss.

Allied Health Doctoral Awards

Maryam Demian_Krescent 2015

Ms. Maryam Demian
Simon Fraser University
Supervisors: Dr. W Loken-Thornton and Dr. Jean Shapiro


Ms. Maryam Demian will complete her fellowship under the supervision of Drs. Wendy Loken Thornton and Jean Shapiro at Simon Fraser University, where she obtained a Masters in Clinical Psychology and is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology stream).

Kidney transplant recipients need to follow a complex immunosuppressant regimen to prevent complications related to non-adherence (e.g., decreased organ functioning, graft rejection, and graft). Unfortunately, the rates of non-adherence in the kidney transplant population are high. There are many reasons for low levels of adherence. This research project focuses primarily on health literacy as an under-appreciated factor in determining non-adherence to medications. In various other medical populations, health literacy has been extensively studied and many studieshave demonstrated that poorer health literacy is linked to worse disease outcomes.  The objective of the current project is to build on this research by developing and testing out a health literacy educational program for the goal of supporting and improving immunosuppressant adherence in people who have received kidney transplants.

This project will be very informative in helping to determine whether this novel approach of targeting medication adherence through improving health literacy may be effective. Supporting medication adherence in this way can then be more uniformly integrated with healthcare professionals' current care, for the ultimate goal of enhancing the treatment management and functioning of kidney transplant recipients.

The KRESCENT Program is a Strategic Training Program developed and supported by:


With additional generous support from:

AMGEN               Baxter Corporation               Merck-Frosst Canada Ltd.             Ortho Biotech              RocheShire BioChem Inc.

© 2005 The Kidney Foundation of Canada