“The pioneering approach Donal O’Donoghue and colleagues led has brought us to where we are today. Our strength comes from our people and I hope his legacy will live on within the department he helped build and the wider Trust.” That was the message from NCA’s new medical director Dr Rafik Bedair as he rounded off the launch of the Donal O’Donoghue Renal Research Centre. It honours the legacy of Professor O’Donoghue who died in 2021 after a highly distinguished career at Salford Royal.
Earlier a packed lecture theatre at Salford Royal – plus more online – heard from the new Centre’s Director Professor Phil Kalra about the centre’s aims, focused on 15 research themes, and ambitions to bring more colleagues into the world of research. He also highlighted the strengths the centre will build on, including a highly research-active medical team and the research assets in the Salford Kidney Study database of more than 1,000 patients who have provided samples over the last 30 years. NCA also has a transplant database of around 960 patients since 2000.
Salford Royal’s Clinical Director for Renal Services Dr Dimitrios Poulikakos spoke of the collaborative culture within the department, typified by the way clinical and research work were aligned during the Covid pandemic. He also referred to the way the team are encouraging more nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to participate in research, a theme echoed by Professor Helen Hurst, who holds a joint clinical academic position with the University of Salford and Northern Care Alliance and is among the leaders of NCA’s Centre for Clinical and Care Research.
The Centre and its plans were warmly welcomed by Donal’s wife Marie (pictured) and their children, as well as patient representative Hilaria Asumu, Prof Paul Cockwell from the UK Kidney Association and Sandra Currie, Chief Executive of Kidney Research UK.