The primary mission of the Nephrology and Urology Research Affinity Group (NURAG) is to enhance the health of children with diseases of the kidney and urinary tract by engaging in high quality, cutting-edge translational research. NURAG is composed of medical faculty, residents and fellows comprising the Nephrology and Urology programs at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. NURAG also includes members of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s whose research projects focus on the fields of nephrology, urology and associated disciplines. Institutional support and numerous grants provide NURAG the opportunity to create and nurture a translational research environment that supports the training of fellows in pediatric nephrology and urology as well as funding trainee attendance at local, national and international meetings.
Despite the prevalence of urogenital diseases, little is currently known regarding the molecular mechanisms controlling the development and pathogenesis of the kidney, bladder and their associated structures. Finding answers to these important clinical challenges is at the heart of NURAG research efforts. This unique consortium of highly talented clinicians and basic science researchers aims to improve the quality of life for patients and their families by significantly reducing the morbidity, mortality and costs associated with pediatric urogenital diseases. Understanding the basic cellular and molecular programs that are responsible for urogenital development and pathogenesis is critical for the formulation of new clinical strategies designed to better prevent, diagnose, treat and/or cure diseases associated with the kidney and bladder.
NURAG has already made considerable progress toward understanding the pathology of UTIs; identifying urinary biomarkers of kidney damage; improving clinical management of UTI, vesicoureteral reflux and nephrotic syndrome; unraveling the natural antimicrobial properties of the human urinary tract; enhancing the utility of murine models; and understanding other key topics in pediatric nephrology and urology. The group has over $1.2 million in funding for 2013.
The long-term goal of NURAG is to grow its national and international reputation in pediatric nephrology and urology in both the basic and clinical sciences, and to provide a fertile environment for the training of new pediatric nephrologists, pediatric urologists and basic scientists interested in urogenital development and disease.
Active studies within the research affinity group include several NIH-funded projects, including work on the following subjects: