Penn-CHOP Kidney Innovation Center Research Overview

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The research vision for the Penn-CHOP Kidney Innovation Center is for every person affected by kidney disease to be informed about, participate in and benefit from the Center's research via transformative basic discoveries and innovative translational and clinical medicine. The Center focuses on three main research areas:

Mechanistic Breakthroughs

The center will stimulate and support inter-disciplinary basic science focused on kidney disease to accelerate discovery of pathomechanisms in kidney diseases.

Precision Molecular Diagnostics

In recent years, omics technologies have undergone a transformative progress. These methods enable gene and pathway discoveries in patients and samples that might be targetable and enable genotype-first discovery and clinical care. In addition to serving as read-out for trial outcomes including target engagement and treatment response, genomics methods including single cell enabled technologies and single cell spatial analytical methods provide novel opportunities for diagnostic and therapeutic target identification, and prognostic opportunities.

Molecularly Enabled Novel Kidney Therapies

At present, there is a massive shortage of clinical trialists in nephrology. For many years, the randomized, parallel-group, double-blinded clinical trial was considered the optimal study design to assess the efficacy and safety of new investigational therapies. As the science behind therapeutic interventions has deepened and grown, the clinical trial designs through which those interventions can be best tested have evolved as well. "Precision medicine" includes the development of agents targeted to specific molecular profiles, including specific genetic mutations, epigenetic or genomic alterations that may be driving disease development. In addition, molecular end-point therapeutics would increase the speed and efficiency of the clinical studies.