The University of Bristol has secured a £45million deal to advance its groundbreaking gene therapy technology for chronic kidney diseases. The commitment, made by healthcare company Syncona Ltd to Bristol spin-out Purespring Therapeutics, aims to address a global unmet need for renal conditions in one of the largest single investments made to a new UK university biotech company.

To see more, please click here.


Meeting at House of Commons

Professor Moin Saleem from Bristol Renal and senior members of Kidney Research UK held a meeting in the office of Norman Lamb MP, Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, in December. This was in order to highlight the achievement of Bristol Renal in developing the NURTuRE (National Unified Renal Translational Research Enterprise) patient cohort and biobank. This is a unique academic/industry/charity partnership with KRUK, six academic partners, and academic partners at Nottingham University.

Recent findings from the Renal group have been published in the journal, Diabetes. The study led by experts from the University of Bristol and funded by the BHF, have identified a growth factor found in the kidneys that could minimise the diabetes-inducing effects of blood vessel damage. To see the full news article for more information & a link to the published paper, please click here:


Dr Gavin Welsh and Professor Moin Saleem were awarded an Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant (£157,082) to work with UCB Pharma to develop a high throughput glomerular spheroid model for renal drug discovery and testing. 

Emily Bowen was awarded the best oral abstract award in the Young Investigator Award session, at the UK Kidney Week annual meeting - title The Role of the Podocyte in Shiga Toxin Associated Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome.

Professor Moin Saleem was awarded the 2018 De Wardener prize, the highest prize in UK nephrology, and gave the 2018 De Wardener lecture, titled ‘Stratified Medicine in Nephrology’.

Dr Becky Foster gave an invited talk on 5th July at the Joint Meetings of The European Society for Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation, The International Society of Clinical Hemorheology and The International Society of Biorheology, at Krakow, Poland.

Dr Karen Onions received Best Oral communication at the British Microcirculation Society in Nottingham, and the Animal Welfare and Research 3Rs Symposium Prize at UoB in April. 


Dr Karen Onions received Best Oral communication at British Society of Matrix Biology, Oxford, April 2017 

Monica Gamez was awarded a Health Sciences Faculty studentship from 2017-2019 under the supervision of Dr Becky Foster, Dr Simon Satchell and Dr Gavin Welsh.


Dr Becky Foster has been awarded a 3 year BHF Project Grant (£213,937) entitled “A new vascular therapeutic potential for early intervention in diabetic vascular dysfunction”

Dr Gavin Welsh and Professor Moin Saleem have been awarded a Kidney Research UK John Feehally-Stoneygate Research Award (£129834) entitled ‘Role of INF2 mutations in the pathogenesis of FSGS’

Dr Simon Satchell has been awarded a Kidney Research UK John Feehally-Stoneygate Research Award (£234,739) entitled ‘MMP-mediated SDC4 loss from the endothelial glycocalyx as a therapeutic target in diabetic nephropathy’

Dr Becky Foster has been invited to be a speaker at the 11th International Podocyte conference in Haifa and Jerusalem, Israel, on April 3-6, 2016.


Dr Becky Foster has been awarded a grant for 100,000 Euros from the European Foundation for the study of Diabetes entitled ‘Can VEGFC modify the glomerular endothelial glycocalyx to protect from albuminuria?’

Dr Alexa Wonnacott has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship to work on 'microRNAs in glomerular insulin signalling' with Professor Donald Fraser (University of Cardiff) and Professor Richard Coward. 

Dr Wen Ding has been awarded a Kidney Research UK Clinical Fellowship to work on 'Developing Adeno-Associated Virus as a vector for gene therapy for Steroid-Resistant Nephrotic Syndrome' with Professor Moin Saleem, Professor Richard Coward and Dr Gavin Welsh.

Georgie Harridge and Alexander Goodliff (iBSc in Health Sciences) and Stephen Singh (MSc in Health Sciences) have been awarded Kidney Research UK Intercalated grants to do their research projects with Dr Gavin Welsh and Professor Richard Coward. 

Professor Richard Coward and Bristol Renal were awarded £24,000 by Diabetes UK for their project 'Imaging the kidney in Diabetic Nephropathy'

Professor Richard Coward has been awarded a Kidney Research UK innovation grant (£35900) in collaboration with Dr Paul Hartley (University of Edinburgh)  entitled 'Using the fruit fly Drosophila to understand podocyte biology in diabetic nephropathy - a pilot study'.

Dr Emily Bowen has been awarded an Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Clinical Primer to work with Professor Coward and Professor Saleem for her project  'the role of the podocyte in complement regulation and haemolytic ureamic syndrome'

Dr Matthew Butler has been awarded an MRC, clinical research training fellowship (£247,570) entitled ‘Aldosterone-induced endothelial glycocalyx dysfunction, a potential therapeutic target in proteinuria?’

Dr Sebastian Oltean (PI) and Prof Steve Harper (co-PI) have been awarded a project grant (£268270) from the British Heart Foundation “mRNA splicing control in diabetes; a novel therapeutic strategy for treatment of diabetic nephropathy’

Dr Sebastian Oltean has participated as an organizing committee member and chair at the 8th Euro Global Diabetes Summit and Medicare Expo – Nov 2015, Valencia, Spain

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