Progressive loss of kidney function often leads to adverse health outcomes. We target this functional decline of the kidney with a multidisciplinary approach, combining experimental and clinical studies to foster the development of both lifestyle and pharmacological interventions.

Loss of kidney function can be mild and asymptomatic in its early stages, but once progression occurs it is associated with numerous adverse outcomes. This includes  kidney replacement therapies, but also cardiovascular disease, a reduced life expectancy and a decreased quality of life. To tackle this issue, we promote interventions related to prevention and treatment of kidney function decline, with a focus on personalized medicine and cardio-renal interaction. We cover the full range from basic science, via experimental and clinical intervention studies to clinical implementation, and dissemination in clinical care and society. Our approach includes

  • experimental studies to dissect underlying pathophysiological mechanisms in animal studies, in in vitro cell culture conditions and in the human experimental set-up;  

  • intervention studies including pharmacological intervention, lifestyle intervention and a combination of these;

  • cohort studies to identify prognostic factors in the general population, populations at high risk for renal disease, and cardiac and/or renal patient populations, including native renal disease, transplant recipients and kidney donors​​​​​​​

Relevance

Our research improves the outcomes of patients with kidney disease through development of screening programs and lifestyle and pharmacotherapeutic interventions

Lifestyle factors contributing to accelerated ageing, including nutrition, obesity, lack of physical activity and environmental toxins, impair quality of life and reduces life expectancy of patients with kidney disease.  With our longitudinal, lifelong approach, we generate data, resources and concepts that  foster therapeutic interventions to improve outcomes,  life expectancy and quality of life of patients with CKD  thereby contributing to healthy ageing.

With our multidepartmental collaboration (Nephrology, Pathology and Medical Biology, and Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology) we are able to develop innovative translational research approaches. Thanks to the access to the rich scientific resources available in the clinic and the research facilities, we are making progress into the understanding of loss of kidney function and providing helpful insights into effective treatment and prevention strategies.

  • We completed a large international clinical trial demonstrating that the sodium-glucose co-transporter inhibitor dapagliflozin reduced the risk of kidney failure, heart failure and prolonged survival in patients with chronic kidney disease,

  • We completed various studies that led to marketing authorization of the first treatment for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.

  • We collaborate with drug registration agencies to improve clinical trial designs in nephrology (FDA/EMA collaborations with National and International Kidney Foundations).

  • We are founder of ERACODA, the European consortium to study the clinical impact of COVID-19 in patients on dialysis or alive with a kidney transplant. Results of this study received nationwide attention when it was used by the Dutch Kidney Foundation to raise money for COVID-19 research.

  • We assess the efficacy and safety of  COVID-19 vaccines in patients with severe kidney disease