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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.

Kidney and Urinary Tract Disorders

Meet the Team

Around 3 million people in the UK live with chronic kidney disease, with 60,000 undergoing treatment for kidney failure. Each year, more than 5000 people are waiting for kidney transplants, with another 30,000 on dialysis, this has meant that research into kidney and urinary tract disorders is more important than ever.

Current research into kidney disease has meant that there has been a development of medication to slow the deterioration of kidneys, preventing or delaying the need for dialysis, as well as ground-breaking investigations into the optimum amount of intravenous iron that can be given to patients on haemodialysis.

Research has improved treatments for rare kidney disease, as well as reducing the risk of chronic kidney disease patients having strokes or heart attacks.

Nicky Cunningham

Associate research delivery manager

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Dr Edwin Wong

Kidney and urinary tract disorders specialty group lead

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Chris Harding

Kidney and urinary tract disorders deputy specialty group lead

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Nicky Cunningham's research experience

I am an associate research delivery manager and lead nurse for the NENC CRN, as well as senior nurse research lead for South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust and a visiting research fellow at the University of Sunderland.

I have been nursing for 33 years, 24 years working within clinical research. I have held many roles in research nursing as well as senior lecturer in research methodology, clinical trials unit manager and project manager as well as a co-applicant researcher and nurse, midwife and allied health professional (NMAHP) engagement lead. Clinical specialties I have worked in include cardiovascular, HIV and macular degeneration research.

My real passion is in supporting nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to get engaged with research to improve practice and outcomes for patients. In my role as a research delivery manager I cover the specialties of stroke, renal and urology. diabetes, metabolic and endocrine disorders and cardiovascular diseases. I also run the #SteesBeCurious hashtag on Twitter!

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Dr Edwin Wong's research experience

I am a consultant nephrologist at the National Renal Complement Therapeutics Centre and the Freeman Hospital’s Renal Services Centre. I am also an associate clinical lecturer at Newcastle University. My academic renal training took place in Newcastle where I completed my Medical Research Council funded clinical research training fellowship and was awarded a PhD in June 2016.

I am an investigator in NIHR portfolio studies, including chief investigator in the UK for two commercial studies in C3G. My team in Newcastle recently achieved global first patient first visit and global first patient first treatment in both of these studies. In addition, I am currently principal investigator on studies into aHUS and IgA nephropathy.

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Professor Chris Harding's research experience

I am a consultant urological surgeon at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and professor of urology at Newcastle University. I am particularly interested in bladder dysfunction, continence, neuro-urology, urinary tract infections, mesh complications and clinical research. I am currently chair of the NIHR national benign urology group and urology lead for the Department of Health's modernising scientific careers MSc course and of the European Association of Urology Guidelines Panel for female non-neurogenic lower urinary tract symptoms.

Tips for getting started in kidney and renal research: Speak to one of our team of 20 consultants and discuss potential project ideas. Formulate your own idea for a short project and we can help facilitate it. Evidence appraisal projects can also be undertaken as we have a close relationship with the Cochrane continence group based in Newcastle.

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How to get involved


Visit the national specialty page here

Begin networking

Speak to one of our team of 20 renal research consultants and discuss potential project ideas. The specialty group lead or research delivery manager will be able to point you in the right direction.

Spread the word

Educate patients and fellow colleagues on the ‘Help BEAT Kidney Disease’ campaign, where patients can complete a short form and questionnaire with their general information on. This will then inform study teams of their eligibility to participate in a study. Types of research patients can get involved in include; completing a survey or questionnaire, being part of a discussion group, testing a smartphone app, online system or activity tracker, trialling a support programme for helping people to better manage symptoms or being part of a clinical trial testing new and existing medications.

Collaboration opportunities

Find out about collaboration opportunities with fellow researchers, as well as the facilities and infrastructure available to deliver your research project.

Be Part of Research

Signpost your patients to Be Part of Research, specifically their kidney and urinary tract disorder therapy area. Research cannot happen without volunteers and participants!