Prestigious DKF grant for “Kouncil” consortium

Heleen Arts

The Dutch Kidney Foundation (DKF) awarded a consortium grant of € 1.250.000 to the "Kouncil" consortium, that includes Prof. Dr. Nine Knoers and Dr. Rachel Giles (UMCU), Dr. Heleen Arts (photo left) and Dr. Ronald Roepman (photo below) (RUNMC), and Prof. Dr. Phil Beales (UCL, London, UK). In the "Kouncil" project, the researchers will scrutinize the genetics, disease mechanisms and therapeutic options for nephronophthisis, which is the most common monogenetic cause of renal failure in children. Dr. Heleen Arts leads the workpackage appointed to the RUNMC. She aims to identify unknown causes of ciliary disorders through next-generation sequencing, design of an online registry for nephronophthisis patients for improved insights into genotype-phenotype correlations, and by determining the disruptive effects of mutations on connections in the ciliary proteome to gather starting points for the development of targeted therapies. This requires the participation of a dedicated team of Nijmegen-based researchers, including Dr. Ronald Roepman, Ing. Machteld Oud, Dr. Ernie Bongers, Dr. Nicole van de Kar, Dr. Erik-Jan Kamsteeg, and Dr. Jeroen van Reeuwijk. In parallel, Prof. Dr. Phil Beales (UCL; UK) and Dr. Rachel Giles (UMCU) will screen for FDA-approved drugs that slow renal cyst formation (a hallmark of nephronophthisis) in zebrafish treated with morpholinos against a known nephronopthisis-associated gene. Findings will be validated in a mouse model. In this way, the consortium aims to contribute to the development of personalized medicine for nephronophthisis patients.  

Roepman, RonaldLogo Niercouncil

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