LOS ANGELES, CA – March 12, 2009 – In conjunction with World Kidney Day and with a view to accelerating kidney research, University Kidney Research Organization (UKRO), a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, has announced that it is in discussions with USC concerning a significant grant to the newly-formed University of Southern California Kidney Research Group (USC/KRG), it was announced today by UKRO President Ken Kleinberg.

World Kidney Day is celebrated on the second Thursday of March (March 12, 2009) with the goal of raising public awareness about the global epidemic of kidney disease.

When finalized, the UKRO grant will fund a specialized kidney research program focusing on using proteomics as a methodology to explore the causes of and improved treatments for kidney disease. An additional top-level researcher will be recruited to join the existing USC/KRG group as part of UKRO’s long term commitment with the Keck School of Medicine to establish the premiere kidney research facility on the West Coast.

Kidney disease affects as many as 500 million people worldwide, or about one in every ten adults. In the United States alone, 25 million people are believed to suffer with chronic kidney disease at a cost of over $32 billion annually.

Despite these statistics, kidney disease research remains under-funded; UKRO is trying to change that. UKRO believes that research is the only way to unlock the mysteries of kidney disease, which exact such a terrible toll on mankind and thus has partnered with the Keck School of Medicine to develop programs that will eventually lead to the prevention and eradication of all forms of kidney disease.

This powerful, nationally-recognized research group includes Vito M. Campese, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics and Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at USC Keck School of Medicine; Alicia McDonough, Ph.D., Professor of the Department of Cell and Neurobiology; Janos Peti-Peterdi, M.D., Associate Professor of Physiology Medicine and Nephrology; Alan S. L. Yu, M.D., Associate Professor of the Department of Medicine/Nephrology and Physiology; and Donald Marsh, Ph.D., Dean Emeritus of Brown University Medical School and Professor of Medical Science. This group uses cutting-edge tools such as proteomics, genomics, and stem cell research to extensively investigate kidney ailments and related conditions.

Dr. Vito Campese, Chairman of UKRO’s Medical Scientific Advisory Board, states, “The scientists of USC/KRG share the common goal of stopping the increase in kidney disease by understanding the relationship between hypertension and chronic kidney disease and by developing strategies to prevent and treat these conditions.”

Dr. Campese continues, “The challenges of tackling the epidemics of high blood pressure and kidney disease are so great that additional support is needed.”

With the help of private donations and community support, UKRO is able to support kidney research for groups such as the USC/KRG and combat this worldwide health crisis of kidney disease.