LOS ANGELES, CA – March 30, 2007 – University Kidney Disease Research Associates (UKDRA/UKRO),** an organization dedicated to research that will create improved treatments and cures for and the prevention of kidney disease, held a benefit dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Friday, March 30, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. The entertainment was an evening with multi-platinum singer songwriter, Peter Cetera. The Mistress of Ceremonies was multi-platinum singer songwriter, Deana Carter.

UKRO honored two of the world’s leaders in kidney transplantation, Drs. Rafael and Robert Mendez, and Dr. Benjamin Barbour, the first chairman of the Department of Nephrology at the USC Keck School of Medicine. UKRO announcing the first John McKay Memorial Fellowship in Renal Research at USC which was given to Jeanie Park, M.D., in honor of one of the great figures in American sports, and a legend at USC, who sadly died of kidney failure in 2001. UKRO gave the 2007 Humanitarian Award to KABC TV’s Philip Palmer, who recently donated his kidney to his friend and co-worker at KABC, Dale Davis.

Kidney disease is all around us. You may be shocked to know that more than 20 million people in the U.S. (1 in 9 adults) now have chronic kidney disease and that having kidney disease substantially shortens one’s life span. Treatment for those afflicted exacts a staggering toll in terms of healthcare expenditures in the United States, with an annual burden to Medicare in excess of $20 billion dollars (and increasing by 12% annually) only to cover the cost of dialysis for the 380,000 patients in the United States with end-stage kidney failure. The only way to contain these runaway costs is basic research, which unfortunately is drastically under funded at all levels. In association with the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (“USC”), UKRO intends to establish in Los Angeles a leading center for research relating to the causes, treatment and prevention of all kidney disease.

The Board of Directors of UKRO consists of Kenneth Kleinberg, President, Benjamin Barbour, M.D., Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, Leslie Chotiner, Secretary, Deana Carter, Bruce Corwin, Suzanne Crowell, Sohan Dua, M.D., Richard Glassock, M.D., Lewis Kleinberg, Dennis L. Kogod, Manfred Mosk, Ph.D., Ammiel Najar, Carol Peters, Stuart Rowlands, Sheldon Saltman, Alan Steigrod, and Joseph P. Van Der Meulen, M.D.

The Medical Scientific Advisory Board is chaired by Vito M. Campese, M.D. and includes Mohammed Akmal, M.D., David Lee, M.D., Alicia McDonough, Ph.D., Mitra Nadim, M.D., Saeid Nasrati, M.D., Isidro Salusky, M.D., Miroslaw Smogorzewski, M.D., Nick Vaziri, M.D. and Alan Yu, M.D.

Contact: Kenneth Kleinberg, President/Director
University Kidney Research Organization
or Leslie Chotiner, Secretary/Director
Telephone: (310) 286-3480

** Note: UKRO was UKDRA (University Kidney Disease Research Associates) prior to November 2008.