Kidney specialists Professors Donal O'Donoghue and Phil Kalra

Key new roles for kidney specialists

Two of Salford Royal’s kidney specialists have been appointed to two of the highest positions in the UK’s Renal Association.

Professor Donal O’Donoghue will take up his post as President of the Association in June, while Professor Phil Kalra will become Academic Vice President in September. They will each serve for two years.

The Renal Association, founded in 1950 and the world’s first renal society, is the professional body for nephrologists (renal clinicians) and renal scientists in the UK. It promotes research and helps to educate the kidney specialists of the future.

Over the last 25 years Salford has been the test bed for many of the UK’s improvements in nephrology and also leads the Lancet Global Kidney Health Campaign.

Prof O’Donoghue, who was the National Clinical Director for kidney care from 2007 to 2013 and has been at Salford for more than 20 years, will use his new role to help drive quality improvements for patients, encourage the community to participate in research and enthuse the next generation of renal clinicians.

He said: “Many people are not aware of how common kidney disease is and how devastating it can be – but there’s also a lack of awareness of how much we can do to help those affected.

“We have made great progress in renal care over the last half century and I want to use my time as President of the Renal Association to ensure clinical services continue to improve.”

In his new role, Prof Kalra – who is also Chair of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network renal disorders group – will help to implement the UK Renal Research Strategy, work to secure more funding for renal research and liaise with both academic and commercial organisations to drive more research funding and trials into the UK. He will also have a role in national renal educational strategy.

For World Kidney Day in March, Prof Kalra took part in a series of short films highlighting kidney disease and how research helps kidney patients. The films, which also look at the prevalence of kidney disease, links with other conditions and a patient’s experience of taking part in research, can be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/NIHRtv/videos.

He said: “Both with the Renal Association and the CRN, I am working to increase awareness of kidney disease and to promote research to improve treatments. Here in Salford we have championed the integration of patients as part of the research team and this is hugely important in making sure we reflect their needs and priorities.”