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Research and Clinical Trials

We never stop finding ways to improve life for patients with kidney disease: Our research helps patients right here in Central Virginia, across the nation and around the world. And together, our VCU Division of Nephrology research team and VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center specialists direct new clinical trials that continue to push kidney medicine forward.

Our kidney research achievements

Our work sheds light on ways to protect kidney health and prevent or manage disease. From understanding rare diseases to improving transplant care, research makes better outcomes possible.

Some of our recent and ongoing projects include:

Our kidney specialists join other specialists to study complex conditions and solve related challenges. Current research with experts in kinesiology (the science of body movement), for example, addresses frailty in patients with end-stage kidney disease. And our findings may increase kidney transplant eligibility.

This project is named for our transplant center experts Guarav Gupta, MD, and Marion Levy, MD. Research through the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center investigates new and better ways to increase access to lifesaving organs and care. Other work supports the center’s leadership in complex living donor transplants.

Our program looks for ways to help patients in high-risk categories. We’re also finding ways to help those facing income or other challenges, so we can increase their access to successful organ transplant surgery.

Our researchers study innovative ways to safely and effectively transplant kidneys which might otherwise be discarded.

Our researchers incorporate novel techniques like donor-derived cell-free DNA. Researchers also investigate the use of powerful molecular microscopy to increase precision in kidney transplant medicine and care.

Our kidney specialists and glomerular kidney disease experts share their knowledge and expertise to study and advance our understanding of glomerular diseases.

With the support of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), our transplant specialists Guarav Gupta, MD, and Layla Kamal, MD, are investigating ways to bridge gaps between kidney biopsy results and transplant survival outcomes.

Our scientists are studying changes in the immune system of patients with rare kidney diseases. They’re also investigating related effects on kidney transplants.

Enroll in a clinical trial to advance kidney care

Helping people is part of our long history of success. It extends from the first pioneering organ transplant over 65 years ago to exciting breakthroughs today—thousands of studies, transplants and treatment innovations later. Our researchers are dedicated to better diagnosis, care and life for people at risk of or living with kidney disease.

If you’re interested in taking part in a clinical trial, talk to your provider about your options. You can also use our Study Finder tool to learn more. Search keywords such as “kidney” and “transplant” to see which clinical trials are currently accepting new participants.