Declines in funding hamper kidney research and other areas of medical study

March 20, 2014

Medical research funding from public and private sources is at an all-time low. A new Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) article discusses the effects of such funding constraints, with a focus on the plight of kidney research.

"The scientific research investment gap continues to widen, jeopardizing potential new insights into diseases and, more importantly, new cures," said co-author Roy Zent, MD, PhD (Vanderbilt Medical Center). He and his colleagues noted that although the National Institutes of Health's annual budget doubled from $13.7 to $26.9 billion per year between 1998 and 2003, it has failed to keep pace with inflation since 2003. Also, the percentage of funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and kidney-related research has continued to decrease while the percentage of funds to other institutes has experienced a steady increase. "With 20 million Americans affected by , we can't afford to delay clinical advances for our patients," said Dr. Zent.

The authors stressed that health professional groups, patient organizations, government, industry, and others focused on improving kidney health must step up and support clinical and basic researchers. The American Society of Nephrology has developed a Career Development Grants Program to support investigators, and it has partnered with the FDA, through the Kidney Health Initiative, to create an opportunity for multidisciplinary specialties to advance kidney treatment, address patient safety, and develop therapies in a collaborative environment.

However, additional efforts are needed to make ongoing strides in kidney research and other areas of study. "Medical research and innovation are a critical component of the United States' economic competitiveness within the global economy, and they directly feed the vitality of the country's health care system. This is why we are raising awareness of the key role research plays in improving the lives of patients with disease, and why are calling for broad support for in the United States," said Dr. Zent.

More information: The article, entitled "The Kidney Research Predicament," will appear online at jasn.asnjournals.org/ on March 20, 2014.

Related Stories

Acute kidney injury may be more deadly than heart attacks

December 5, 2013

Acute kidney injury, a condition that is common but often asymptomatic, may be more deadly than a heart attack, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology ...

Targeting certain kidney cells may help treat kidney failure

January 9, 2014

New research reveals that certain cells contribute to kidney function decline, making them attractive targets for treatments against kidney failure. The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American ...

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.