Scientific meetings

This program is focused on funding PKD-relevant scientific and clinical meetings that bring together PKD scientists from around the world to discuss current findings and encourage research collaborations. We also fund medical education programs at national clinical meetings to educate medical professionals in the basic science, diagnosis, disease management and potential treatments for PKD.

We have provided funding through educational grants to support scientific conferences and meetings that support the our mission. The funding has ranged from $5,000 to $50,000 per conference.

Many partnerships are being cultivated to support collaboration with other key organizations, including the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN).

Upcoming meetings

Jared J. Grantham Symposium

June 8, 2017
2 to 5:45 p.m.
University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, Kansas

The Symposium, sponsored by the PKD Foundation, will be held in the Lied Auditorium and feature guest speakers Ronald D. Perrone, M.D., Michele Pritchard, Ph.D., Katherine Swenson-Fields, Ph.D., Chad Slawson, Ph.D., and David Beier, M.D., Ph.D. Seminar sessions are open to all and free to attend.


FASEB – Polycystic Kidney Disease: Challenges, Differing Viewpoints and Ways Forward

June 25-30, 2017
Big Sky, MT

This science research conference focuses on the autosomal dominant (ADPKD) and recessive (ARPKD) forms of PKD, autosomal dominant polycystic liver diseases with mild or no kidney involvement (ADPLD) and syndromic forms of PKD caused by mutations in genes encoding for proteins in the primary cilium (ciliopathies). The specific goals are: assemble an interdisciplinary program of basic scientists and clinical researchers that are at the forefront of PKD research to provide a comprehensive update on recent advances in PKD; provide a format where trainees and junior investigators can present, network and collaborate; generate a platform for informed discussion to help resolve unanswered questions in PKD; promote the development of novel therapies for PKD.

Organizers: Vicente Torres, M.D., Marie Trudel, Ph.D.
Early bird registration ends May 14, 2017

Find more information and register today

See press release here.
See preliminary program here.

International Union of Physiological Sciences
38th World Congress

August 1-5, 2017
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Physiology of Polycystic Kidney Disease: New Molecular Pathways and Therapeutic Targets

For those interested in the relationship between cellular physiology and pathophysiology, Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) offers almost an embarrassment of riches. ADPKD is the most common potentially lethal genetic disease, affecting more than one in one thousand individuals. It is the leading genetic cause of end stage renal disease, and accounts for ~4% of the population of patients requiring renal replacement therapy. Mutations in two genes, Pkd1 and Pkd2 account for essentially all cases of ADPKD. Although these genes and their protein products, polycystin 1 (PC1) and polycystin 2 (PC2), have been studied extensively for the past two decades, we still do not really understand what they do and why their loss leads to renal cystic disease. The more deeply the mechanisms responsible for ADPKD are investigated, the more complex becomes the web of signaling processes that radiate from the two polycystin proteins. Very recently, it has become clear that the polycystins play critical roles in regulating cellular energy metabolism and mitochondrial function. Perturbations in energy metabolism appear to be responsible for significant aspects of disease pathology and these perturbations constitute novel targets for therapeutic innovation. The subject of this symposium will focus on the roles of the polycystin proteins in cellular energy physiology and in related signaling pathways. The speakers are all internationally known and highly regarded leaders in this field, and they will present the most up to date and novel findings in this exciting area. Because it impacts renal physiology, cellular energy metabolism, disease pathogenesis and therapeutic targets, this proposed symposium on Polycystic Kidney Disease is likely to have broad interdisciplinary appeal and to be of interest to many meeting participants with diverse backgrounds.

Chair: Michal Caplan, M.D., Ph.D.

More information

2017 Toronto PKD Scientific Day

September 15, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 5:10 p.m.
Chestnut Residence and Conference Centre
Toronto, Ontario

This event offers a variety of sessions with PKD experts, featuring presentations on novel therapeutics, challenging clinical cases and more. Breakfast and lunch will be included. There is a registration fee of $150 for nephrologists, and no registration fee for allied health professionals, students and patients.

RSVP to Ms. MaryJo Raposo at to reserve your spot today.

Full agenda

Previous Meetings

On Cell Volume Regulation

Aug. 13, 2016

The general goal of the Cell Volume Regulation meetings is to assemble a highly multi-disciplinary group of established and junior scientists to share the latest unpublished data, brainstorm the challenges and forge new international collaborations in basic and translational research to understand and treat diseases related to the loss of salt and water homeostasis.

PKD focus: Fluid-electrolyte contributions to disease progression in polycystic kidney disease

This meeting will focus on the latest research in fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. The symposium will introduce the attendees (most of whom are not PKD researchers) to the PKD field and to facilitate the interactions between PKD researchers and other meeting attendees. The intimate setting for this meeting is ideal for participant interactions and many fruitful collaborations have arisen from this meeting in the past.

Cilia 2016: From Fundamental Biology to Human Disease

Oct. 4 to 7, 2016
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This will be the third consecutive biennial European Cilia conference, and the PKD Foundation is proud to sponsor it after having initiated the series in London (Cilia 2012) and Paris (Cilia 2014). Since 2000, major discoveries in cilia biology have been achieved in a diversity of disciplines, including cellular and molecular biology, genetics, medicine and biophysics. This young field is evolving quickly and major breakthroughs occur on a regular basis.

The Cilia 2016 meeting in Amsterdam will cover seven key themes:

  1. Clinical aspects (including kidney, brain, retinal and motile ciliopathies)
  2. Signaling and development
  3. Ciliogenesis and transport
  4. Centrioles and basal bodies
  5. Structural cilium biology
  6. Translational therapeutics
  7. Flagella in infectious eukaryotes

Cilia 2016 presents a unique aspect not included in any other cilia-related conference series. It will continue in the tradition of our previous events to strongly engage with patient support groups and health research to promote interface between scientists, clinicians and the families affected by diseases of cilia (‘ciliopathies’), encouraging them to work together toward common translational goals.

PKD focus:

This conference’s program will include discussions on the current state of knowledge on cilia function, cilia signaling and ciliopathies. A substantial portion will include ciliopathies involving renal cyst formation, most importantly polycystic kidney disease, nephronophthisis, as well as multi-organ ciliopathies with renal cyst formation as Bardet Beadle syndrome and Oro-Facial-Digital Syndrome. These diseases will be discussed at the level of genetics, cell biology, imaging, disease mechanisms, clinical perspectives and development of new therapies.

Expected attendance: 400 participants, including researchers, Ph.D. students, patients, caregivers and patient organizations


Jared J. Grantham Symposium

June 2nd, 2016
Kansas City, Kansas

The 2016 Jared Grantham Symposium will be held on Thursday, June 2, from 3 to 8 p.m., in the School of Nursing Auditorium at Kansas University Medical Center. This year, the program features keynote seminars by Erica Golemis, Ph.D., of Fox Chase Cancer Center at Temple University on “Targeting Cancer Signaling Proteins for ADPKD,” and from Ron Perrone, M.D., from Tufts University on “Predicting Disease Progression and Management of ADPKD.” In between the keynote seminars, the symposium will feature talks by 2016 PKD Foundation grant recipients, Stephen Parnell, Ph.D. and Xia “Julie” Zhou, Ph.D.

The first Jared J. Grantham Symposium was hosted by the Kidney Institute at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2014 in Kansas City to honor Dr. Jared Grantham in his retirement. Dr. Grantham’s vision for the symposium was to invite all of the Lillian Jean Kaplan award recipients to lead a forward-thinking and interactive forum to focus on future directions and innovations in polycystic kidney disease research. All twelve of the Kaplan awardees were present at the inaugural symposium to give talks on their vision of “The Future of PKD Research.”  The Kidney Institute will continue to host the Grantham Symposium annually.


Harvard 10th Annual PKD Symposium

May 8, 2017
Boston, Massachusetts

This symposium is organized by the Harvard Center for Polycystic Kidney Disease Research (Director, Dr. Jing Zhou). The Symposium will provide updates on the most recent advances in the cilia-PKD field and progresses made by members of the PKD Center at several Harvard Institutions in the past year and other distinguished investigators of the field.

All undergraduate, graduate students, medical students, residents, clinical and research fellows, physicians and basic science faculty members who are interested in kidney disease, cilia or epithelial biology would benefit from attending this conference.