Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Dr. Marie-Luise Brezniceanu
Hôtel-Dieu Hospital (CHUM)
Supervisor: Dr. John Chan


Marie-Luise Brezniceanu will complete her Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Dr. John Chan at the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital (CHUM) in Montreal where she is studying reactive oxygen species (ROS) in diabetic nephropathy. Forty percent of patients with End Stage Renal Disease have an underlying diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy. Dr. Brezniceanu is studying the molecular mechanisms of high glucose and intrarenal ROS action in the hypertrophy (increased size) in the kidney proximal tubular cells. An increase in our understanding of the role(s) of intrarenal ROS in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy will contribute directly to improved clinical treatment.

Dr. Navdeep Tangri, M.D.
Tufts Medical Centre
Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Levey


Navdeep Tangri obtained his MD from the University of Manitoba and has worked extensively with clinical researchers in nephrology at McGill and University of Toronto. Dr. Tangri will complete his Post-Doctoral Fellowship, under the mentorship of Dr. Andrew Levey at the Tufts Medical Centre in Boston. He previously used artificial neural networks to predict outcomes in patients on peritoneal and hemodialysis. His present study will focus on creating a simplified model to identify patients at high risk for kidney failure and to test its accuracy in an external population.

Dr. Darren Yuen, M.D.
St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto
Supervisors: Drs. Richard Gilbert and Susan Quaggin


Darren Yuen will complete his Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Gilbert at the University of Toronto, where he will study blood vessel repair in kidney injury. Evidence suggests that the kidney endothelium, the inner lining of the blood vessel wall in the kidney, is important for the kidney to work properly. Recent studies have found that regenerative cells in human bone marrow can repair damaged endothelium Dr. Yuen’s research is intended to determine if injected regenerative cells can improve the endothelium and if there are better ways to target them to the injured kidney. This project has the potential to open new opportunities for treatment of kidney disease.

New Investigator Award

Dr. Nina Jones
University of Guelph


Nina Jones is a new investigator at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Injury to the basic blood filtration unit (glomerulus) of the kidney is one of the leading causes of kidney disease. She is investigating protein interactions in the kidney and is particularly interested in the signalling pathways that are regulated by nephrin, a central component of the kidney filtration barrier. Her research will contribute to our knowledge of the molecular basis of normal kidney development and help to identify new molecular targets for therapies that could be used to potentially slow and reverse kidney disease.

Dr. Heather Reich
University Health Network


Heather Reich is a new investigator at the University of Toronto, where she obtained her Ph.D. in the Faculty of Medicine and previously held a KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2006 – 2008). Her current study, Molecular markers of kidney disease progression, is aimed at identifying “high risk” and “low risk” individuals to either facilitate early intervention or spare patients the toxicity of unnecessary therapy. Profiling makes it possible to determine the molecular characteristics of an individual patient’s disease, thus allowing for personalized treatment strategies. Dr. Reich has established a biobank of kidney tissue samples linked to long-term clinical database. She has already identified a “profile” of kidney tissue gene expression that relates to protein in the urine, one of the most important factors of kidney failure. The next stage of her work will be to relate this profile to kidney disease outcome.

Dr. Michele Zappitelli, M.D.
McGill University


Michele Zappitelli is a new investigator in pediatric nephrology at McGill University. Last year he returned to Canada after completing a KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, one of the largest pediatric centres in North America. Dr. Zappitelli will evaluate Cystatin C and urine proteins as tests of acute kidney injury (AKI) in critically ill children. Presently, there is no treatment for AKI. His research will evaluate multiple ways of detecting AKI as early as possible, which in turn, will increase the ability to offer new treatments.




Allied Health Doctoral Award
Karen Hornby
McGill University
Supervisor: Drs. Ivan Pless and Sam Shemie


Karen Hornby will complete her doctoral degree in Epidemiology at McGill University in Montreal. Ms. Hornby will study Canadian transplant tourism with Drs. Ivan Pless and Sam Shemie at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The demand for transplantable kidneys far exceeds the supply in Canada and internationally, thereby pushing individuals to go abroad to purchase a lifesaving kidney transplant. Her research will compare outcomes of people who get kidney transplants abroad to those who have their transplants in Canada and those who remain on waiting lists. Results of the study will provide much needed public health information to inform discussions and policy decisions pertaining to potential solutions to the kidney transplantation shortage.



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