Research and Development

Since 1982, the PKD Foundation has led the fight against PKD through vital research funding and patient education. Now promising clinical trials, as well as the PKD Foundation's integrated research and development program featuring drug development, offer help and hope to millions worldwide with PKD.


PKD Foundation helps fund early trial for promising repurposed drugResearchers in Dr. Bonnie Blazer-Yost's lab

Funding from the PKD Foundation is facilitating clinical research of a drug initially developed for use in Type 2 diabetes that holds promise for patients with ADPKD.

As part of our multi-faceted approach to research, the Foundation supports work that investigates new uses for previously approved drugs, called drug repurposing. This takes advantage of work that's been done for a different therapeutic use, dramatically reducing development time and costs. For example, aspirin was initially developed for pain, but it can also be used at lower doses to reduce the risk of heart attacks and colon cancer.

As public funding dollars becoming harder to come by, academic labs that generate important, sometimes overlooked research are turning more to private sources like the PKD Foundation to supplement and sustain their work and test their hypotheses in patients.

An example of how research in one area opened the possibility for potential advancements in PKD therapies is a surprising discovery of a drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes by Bonnie Blazer-Yost, Ph.D., Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM).

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PKD Foundation Research Grant Request For Application (RFA)

One of the PKD Foundation's principal goals is the development of clinical interventions for the treatment of polycystic kidney disease. Under this RFA, proposals in the following areas will be accepted:

  • Basic laboratory research aimed at increasing understanding of the genetic and pathological processes involved in PKD
  • Research with an obvious or direct potential to accelerate the development of potential therapies

Donors have made special funding opportunities available for research in the following area:

  • Research specifically focused on the development of treatments for autosomal recessive PKD (ARPKD)
  • Research conducted in Canada (made possible by a collaboration with the PKD Foundation of Canada)
  • Research with implications for polycystic liver disease (PLD)

Award amounts will equal $80,000 direct costs per year for two years, for a total grant award of $160,000. Second-year funding is dependent upon availability of funds. The funds awarded must be used solely for the purposes specified in the proposal submitted to and approved by the PKD Foundation as executed by the investigator and institution in strict compliance with the budget attached to the application.

Learn more or apply here

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©2015, PKD Foundation ·The PKD Foundation is a 501 (c)(3), 509 (a)(1) public charity.

©2015, PKD Foundation ·The PKD Foundation is a 501 (c)(3), 509 (a)(1) public charity.