PKD Foundation attends Kidney Week 2019

Published November 21, 2019
Written by Elise Hoover, Director of Research

The PKD Foundation (PKDF) has just returned from Kidney Week 2019 in Washington, D.C. The annual scientific meeting hosted by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) ran Nov. 7–10. This is one of our favorite opportunities to interact with nephrologists treating PKD patients or working on new and exciting PKD research.

“The opportunity to collaborate and the visible increase in partners seeking out ways to advance PKD research is vastly encouraging,” comments Andy Betts, Chief Executive Officer. “There is more funded research, more awareness of clinical trial participation and more people working in the PKD research space than ever before. As part of PKD Foundation, ASN reminded me of the broader and collective responsibility to our patients to bring about progress.”

But first, Congress

From left to right: Elise Hoover, Paula Hutchinson, Nancy Kaminski, Chris Rusconi and Alexis Denny.

PKDF arrived a day early along with two fantastic patient advocates, Nancy Kaminski and Paula Hutchinson, to talk with members of Congress about important kidney initiatives. “My favorite part of Kidney Week was on Wednesday when five PKD advocates joined 100+ others for Kidney Community Advocacy Day,” says Alexis Denny, Director of Government Affairs. “This was a great opportunity to raise our collective voice in support of kidney research and positive change across Capitol Hill.”

Kidney Week conversations

At the ASN event, PKDF had the chance to mingle and talk with some of the more than 13,000 attendees to hear about current studies and learn about the newest advancements in the preservation of kidney health as it relates to diet, therapies, dialysis and transplant. We made a B line for the research posters (more than 3,500 total) displayed at the poster sessions, a large portion of which focused on PKD.

We also had the opportunity to introduce Chris Rusconi, PKDF’s new Chief Research Officer, to many of our collaborators in the research community. “This was my first ASN, and it was quite an experience! I divided my time between presentations on PKD research, meeting individual researchers, and talking with representatives from companies developing new therapies for PKD patients,” Chris said. “My main takeaways from ASN are that our research community is composed of passionate and really nice researchers conducting high-quality, exciting basic and translational research, and there is good reason to be excited about the growing pipeline of therapeutics in development for PKD.”

Dr. Vicente Torres during the John P. Peters Award ceremony.

On Day 2, PKDF was proud to attend the John P. Peters Award ceremony to honor Dr. Vicente Torres for his work and dedication to PKD research. The Peters Award has been given out annually since 1983 to recognize those who have made substantial research contributions in nephrology. Our own founder, Jared J. Grantham, received this award in 2011. It is appropriate Dr. Torres should receive similar recognition and we are proud to call him a collaborator.

2019 Kidney Week kept us busy interacting with PKD clinicians and researchers and meeting with many industry partners who are in the process of testing new therapies in clinical trials for PKD. “ASN was a great experience to meet our researchers active in the PKD community,” says Stevie Cline, Director of Strategic Partnerships. “I also enjoyed getting the chance to meet our industry colleagues to learn more about the research and innovation happening on that side of the fight to #

From left to right: Chris Rusconi, Elise Hoover, Alessandra Boletta (a grantee and member of our Scientific Advisory Committee), Alexis Denny and David Baron.



David Baron, Scientific Advisor, sums up the impact we saw in the new and varied stakeholders within the PKD space. “After attending this year’s ASN Kidney Week, I’m now confident that my children’s generation will have tolerable and effective treatments for PKD whether they be nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, or gene therapies that could mitigate the need for renal replacement therapy. I’m gratified to know that PKD Foundation has had a hand in all of these advances!”

Learn more

“My favorite part of ASN is getting the chance to shake the hands of our grantees and fellows, ask them how their research is going, and share the stories from our patient community,” concluded Elise Hoover, Director of Research. To catch up on what happened at Kidney Week 2019, check out #kidneywk and visit the American Society of Nephrology’s website.

PKD Foundation is the largest private funder of PKD research in the U.S. Since 1982, we’ve invested close to $50 million in more than 1,300 research, clinical and scientific grants, fellowships and scientific meetings. Each year, The Foundation identifies and supports the work of scientists and researchers from around the world who look for ways to treat and eventually cure PKD.

Our vision is to end PKD. Donations help fund necessary research that leads to more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for PKD.


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