Chronic kidney (renal) disease Pediatric Research and Clinical Trials

Children’s Hospital Boston is home to the world’s most extensive research enterprise at a pediatric hospital.

We also have many partnerships with the top research, biotech and health care organizations, and we work together to find innovative ways to improve kids’ health and treat life-threatening diseases.

Hope for regenerating kidney cells

Jordan Kreidberg, MD, PhD, director of Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research in Children's Division of Nephrology, conducts research on kidney stem cells (the cells that turn into kidneys as the fetus develops) in an effort to find new treatments for conditions including:

Kreidberg and his team have found the genes in these cells that tell the kidneys how to grow, and hope to use this information to grow new functional kidney cells to use in transplantation.

Study sheds new light on focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)

Finding treatments for FSGS, a poorly understood condition that leads to end-stage renal disease, and in some cases, prevents the possibility of transplant, is recognized as one the great challenges in the field. A research team led by Elizabeth Brown, MD, of Children's Division of Nephrology, working in the laboratory of Martin Pollak, MD, of the Renal Division at Brigham and Women's Hospital, has identified an important gene associated with the disease.

Other genes have been linked with FSGS, but they consider INF2 to be an important discovery. Mutations on this gene seem to affect larger numbers of families than those on previously discovered genes, and may be more relevant in understanding how the disease originates physiologically – which could lead to more effective treatment. 

Our researchers are also involved in studies designed to improve post-transplant treatment for children with FSGS and familial HUS and slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.