Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Dr. Mélanie Béland
McGill Cancer Centre - Montreal
Supervisor :  Dr. Maxime  Bouchard


Dr. Mélanie Béland will complete her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Maxime Bouchard at the McGill Cancer Centre in Montreal. She will be investigating the role of Pax2 in the initiation and progression of renal cell carcinomas. Kidney cancer accounts for nearly 3% of all tumors diagnosed in Canada; in 2005, approximately 4,500 new cases were reported.

Dr. Marie-Luise Brezniceanu
Hôtel Dieu – CHUM - Montreal
Supervisor: Dr. John Chan


Dr. Marie-Luise Brezniceanu will complete her Post-doctoral Fellowship with Dr. John Chan at the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital (CHUM) where she will study hyperglycemia and activation of the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS) in the initiation and progression of diabetic nephropathy. Forty percent of patients with End Stage Renal Disease have an underlying diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy. Dr. Brezniceanu will study the molecular mechanisms of high glucose and intrarenal reactive oxygen species (ROS) action in the hypertrophy and programmed cell death 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. Jagbir Gill
University of California – Los Angeles
Supervisor:  Dr. John Gill


Dr. Jagbir Gill obtained his MD from the University of British Columbia. He will complete a Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Drs. Gabriel Danovitch and Michael Cecka at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) where he will train in kidney transplantation and epidemiology. The shortage of kidneys is a dominant issue in kidney transplantation today, and Dr. Gill will examine the influence of donor age, particularly in living donation, on the survival and outcomes relating to the kidney graft.

Dr. Sunny Hartwig
Children’s Hospital Boston – Harvard University
Supervisor:  Dr. Jordan  Kreidberg


Dr. Sunny Hartwig obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. She will complete her Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Dr. Jordan Kreidberg at the Children’s Hospital Boston (Mass.) where she will study the role of WT-1 (Wilms’ Tumor Suppressor) during early kidney development. Mutations in the Wilms’ Tumor Suppressor gene cause severe dysplastic kidney disease (malformation of the kidney), the single most common cause of end-stage renal disease in children.
Dr. Heather Reich
University of Toronto
Supervisor: Dr. James W. Scholey


Dr. Heather Reich will complete her Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Dr. Daniel Cattran and Dr. James Scholey at the University of Toronto where she will study glomerular-based diseases (disease of the filters of the kidney), which account for the majority of cases of end-stage renal disease.  Since patients with glomerular disease have a variable prognosis, the ability to predict disease outcomes is extremely limited.  Dr. Reich will investigate the level of proteinuria (high protein level in urine) and gene expression in kidney biopsies as predictors of outcomes of end-stage renal disease in order to better understand kidney disease progression and identify high risk patients.

Dr. Michael Walsh
Addenbrooke’s Hospital – United Kingdom
Supervisor :  Dr. David  Jayne


Dr. Michael Walsh obtained his MD from the University of Calgary and will complete his Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Dr. David Jayne at Addenbrooke’s Hospital (Cambridge, U.K.). Dr. Walsh’s training will be in epidemiology and clinical research. In particular, Dr. Walsh will be involved in multi-centre clinical trials in vasculitis and lupus nephritis. Lupus nephritis is a common cause of glomerulonephritis and is an important cause of chronic kidney disease.
  Dr. Dongcheng Wu
McMaster University - Hamilton
Supervisor:  Dr. Joan C. Krepinsky


Dr. Dongcheng Wu will complete his Post-doctoral Fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Joan Krepinsky at McMaster University in Hamilton. He will study the effects of high blood pressure on the molecular mechanisms of the glomeruli cells in the kidney.  High blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney failure. When the mesengial cells in the glomerulus sense high blood pressure in the blood vessels, signaling pathways inside the cells are activated, leading to the formation of scar protein.

New Investigator Award

Dr. Bethany Foster
McGill University - Montreal


Dr. Bethany Foster is a new investigator in kidney transplantation at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. She recently returned to Canada after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.  Dr. Foster’s research addresses the cardiovascular health of children and young adults requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. Cardiovascular mortality in kidney transplantation recipients is lower than in dialysis patients, but remains 10 times higher than among their healthy counterparts. Once critical post-transplant cardiovascular abnormalities have been determined, and risk factors for ongoing cardiovascular disease have been identified, treatments to improve or eliminate these risk factors will be tested and clinically applied.

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