For the greater part of the 20th century, exogenous insulin administration and whole organ pancreatic transplantation served as the predominant therapeutic interventions for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. The success of the Edmonton group in achieving insulin independence in the early 2000s via islet cell transplantation in a cohort of patients with autoimmune diabetes led to renewed optimism that this treatment could serve as an alternative to solid organ transplantation (1). However, 16 years later, a shortage of donor pancreatic islet cells remains a major challenge in increasing the scale of human allogeneic islet transplantation.
Basic science is fundamental to advancing medicine and improving health outcomes. It is an exciting time to be engaged in basic and translational research focusing on kidney diseases. Novel research tools and methodologies are available to answer questions that have long eluded scientists. Moreover, we are seeing investments in kidney-related research by pharmaceutical companies, industry, societies, and governments. Examples of these investments include the Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP), funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; the Transformative Research in Diabetic Nephropathy (TRIDENT) study, which is a private-public partnership; the Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX) prize;
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) will consider adding screening for chronic kidney disease (CKD) as a potential recommendation in response to a nomination from the Coalition for Kidney Health. The coalition submitted its request in December 2021 and received a response in February 2022, stating that USPSTF has added “Screening for CKD” to its “list of preventive services topics under active consideration.”
The positive response kicks off a thorough, multi-year review, according to Miriam Godwin, health policy director at the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), whom the coalition designated as its contact person in its request to USPSTF. Godwin
The advancements of single-cell and nucleus RNA sequencing (sc/snRNAseq) have shifted our approach to defining cell types and states relevant to human health. These technologies have provided detailed insight into the transcriptome (all of the expressed messenger RNA [mRNA] of a single cell, tissue, or sample) of a single cell. However, this process, requiring dissociation of tissue to the level of the single cell or nucleus, obscures the structural context of each cell within the tissue. Therefore, sc/snRNAseq studies have been limited by their inability to capture data essential to understanding these cellular microenvironments (surrounding cells, extracellular matrix, and signaling
The old tongue-in-cheek maxim that xenotransplantation is, and always will be, the future of transplantation is under withering attack. Three reports within the past few months—one published in a scientific journal (1) and two in the lay press—suggest xenotransplantation success may be at hand. First, a little history.
Xenotransplantation promises an unlimited supply of organs. Conceptually straightforward, the details turn out to be critically important. First attempts at xenotransplantation using pigs were unsuccessful due to, among other issues, the Galα1,3Gal (Gal) epitope on the vascular epithelium. These epitopes induced refractory rejection, leading to organ loss in transplant models.
Congress is staring down a significant number of legislative backlogs as it begins the 2022 calendar year. Congress must still finalize fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations before FY 2023 appropriations negotiations can commence, confirm the heads of both the US Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, and confirm a Supreme Court justice to replace retiring Justice Breyer, all with mid-term elections fast approaching this fall. But, there is cause for genuine optimism among the kidney community, as improving kidney health through transformative regulatory and legislative action continues to receive robust bipartisan support
Twenty percent of Americans live in rural areas. Many face health disparities caused by geographic isolation, transportation limitations, and a lack of access to local specialty health care (1, 2). Americans living in rural areas also are more likely to be uninsured, to have lower rates of access to preventive health services, and to engage in unhealthy behaviors (such as tobacco use) (2–5). They also have greater incidence rates of potentially preventable diseases, including heart disease and stroke, and higher mortality rates than their urban counterparts (2, 4,
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and/or other sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals (LGBTQ+) represent a diverse range of people who experience disparities in health outcomes and other health-promoting resources and opportunities and are served by kidney care professionals (1–3).
Although there have been advances in civil rights legislation, including same-sex marriage equality aimed to equalize some sociopolitical opportunities, there are innumerable persistent social, economic, legal, health, and health care-related disparities facing SGM individuals (2, 4). These challenges are exemplified by a patchwork of non-discrimination policies across the United States