Great minds: Yale scientists join global network to advance kidney research

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Yale kidney experts Dr. Stefan Somlo, Dr. Richard Lifton, Dr. Peter Aronson, Dr. Emile Boulpaep, and Dr. Gerhard Giebisch. (Photo by Terry Dagradi)

Researchers in Yale School of Medicine’s nephrology section have forged a new collaboration with international partners to promote translational kidney research.

Yale Nephrology has joined colleagues at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU) in Germany and the University of London to form the TRENAL network. The network partners will use $1 million in grant funding from the German Academic Exchange Service to support research as well as clinical training activities over the next four years.

TRENAL is the brainchild of Dr. Felix Knauf, who holds joint appointments at Yale and FAU. A graduate of the Yale Internal Medicine Residency and Nephrology Fellowship Programs, Knauf saw an opportunity to formalize existing collaborations between the three institutions. “The grant allows medical students, physicians, post-docs, and faculty to go to the different institutions for short visits or up to six months to attend meetings or do research,” he explains.

An inaugural activity supported by the network is a symposium to be hosted this summer at FAU, where several Yale researchers are scheduled to deliver talks. Another example of synergy is a translational research project at FAU that is based on basic research pioneered by Yale professor Dr. Peter Aronson, a TRENAL site director.  

The network gives investigators access to the strengths of each institution. “All Yale medical students do a research thesis, and many carry out projects that involve collaborations outside the country,” Aronson says. “Our hope is Yale students would want to take advantage of this new opportunity.”

Students, postdoctoral fellows, and physicians interested in rotations as part of the network can send e-mail for additional information.

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