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Centre for Kidney Research & Innovation

Professor Maarten Taal
Professor Maarten Taal, Consultant Nephrologist at the Royal Derby Hospital

Professor Maarten Taal (Hon. Consultant Nephrologist) and colleagues have established the Centre for Kidney Research & Innovation (CKRI) within the University of Nottingham, based at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (DHFT).  The aim of the Centre is to deliver an innovative programme of clinical and translational research in the areas of kidney disease and dialysis therapy, which will directly lead to improvements in treatments and outcomes for patients.

Information about this exciting development can be found on the website: 


The Centre for Kidney Research and Innovation is embarking on a new initiative in collaboration with the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE) from the University of Derby.

The IISE has a mission statement of helping manufacturing and engineering companies in the East Midlands to innovate and grow, and works with industrial partners such as Rolls Royce, Toyota and Bombardier.

By working together, the two groups aim to develop technologies to improve patient monitoring during dialysis that will inform and feed refinements in the delivery of dialysis treatments that will ultimately improve patient outcomes. This innovative project is generously funded by local entrepreneur Mr Mel Morris and they are now in the planning and set up phases for a three year programme of collaborative work.

Dr Nick Selby, Hon. Consultant Nephrologist, Royal Derby Hospital
Dr Nick Selby, Hon. Consultant Nephrologist, Royal Derby Hospital

In collaboration with the Sir Peter Mansfield MRI Centre (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham) Professor Taal and Dr Nick Selby, Hon. Consultant in Nephrology at the Royal Derby Hospital (RDH) who is involved in the CKR, have been awarded a prestigious MRC Discovery Grant to establish a platform centre for high and ultra-high field 23Na* clinical imaging and translate this to clinical studies. 23Na allows direct visualisation of sodium in the human body and has a number of potential clinical uses, from assessing cellular integrity, through evaluation of kidney disease to improving understanding of mechanisms of hypertension. The technique also has specific relevance to understanding sodium and water balance in dialysis patients. After development of the technique, these measures will be applied to study kidney disease as an exemplar clinical application to facilitate development of a wider range of 23Na imaging applications, including brain, lung, gut and the musculoskeletal system.

There will be a further expansion in the renal research team with a new Clinical Lecturer post and two new Research Fellow posts.

      *23Na is a stable (non-radioactive) isotope of sodium