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Human Nephron Number, Hypertension and Kidney Disease

Increasing evidence is linking our risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) and kidney disease in adult life with our embryonic, fetal and/or neonatal development.  In these studies of human kidneys obtained at autopsy and of kidney biopsies, we are exploring this issue and also defining the renal disease inflicting thousands of Aboriginal Australians.

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Glomerular size in Australian Aborigines

We have previously shown that glomeruli in Aboriginal kidneys are larger than those in the kidneys of white Australians.  But are all the glomeruli larger, or just some?  And are the larger glomeruli located in a distinct region of the kidney?  This project is assessing glomerular size and associated pathology in kidneys previously obtained at autopsy.

Kidney disease in Australian Aborigines

The rates of end stage renal disease (requiring kidney transplantation or dialysis) in many Aboriginal communities is far higher than that in white Australia. But remarkably, the types of kidney disease seen in Aborigines, and the associations with other physical and clinical parameters are not clear.  We are exploring these associations in our National Audit of Aboriginal Renal Biopsies.

The Lab


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (National Institutes of Health)


Principal collaborators in these projects are Professor Wendy Hoy (University of Queensland) and Dr. Michael Hughson (University of Mississippi Medical Centre).  Other collaborators are Professor Boucar Diouf (Dakar Hospital, Senegal), Dr. Professor Priscilla Kincaid-Smith (Melbourne), Professor John Dowling (Melbourne), Dr. Agnes Fogo (Vanderbilt University, USA), Dr. Raj Sinniah (Royal Perth Hospital), and Dr. David Pugsley (Adelaide).

Renal Development and Regeneration Research

Other Research within the Department