Kidney-related research and interactions between basic scientists and clinical researchers in order to advance effective prevention and treatment of acute and chronic kidney disease and its complications.

Research Activities

Our department’s research interests range from laboratory bench to patient-oriented investigation with a translational focus in nephrology. Our ultimate aim is to improve quality of life and life expectancy in patients suffering from kidney disorders. Current research interests include e.g. antibiotic dosing in dialysis patients, anticoagulation in dialysis patients, big data, uremic toxins and gut microbiome, and the applications of vibrational spectroscopy in the field of kidney diseases. To achieve our objectives, we focus on national and international partnerships and acquiring grant applications.

Research Projects

  • Adult/pediatric nephrology: The different comorbidities in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are studied and linked with uremic toxins and the microbiome in order to optimize diagnosis and treatment of CKD children.
  • The PHOENIX-kidney study. A home-based exercise and physical activity intervention after kidney transplantation: impact of exercise intensity. 
  • Antibiotic dosing in dialysis patients: Based on clinical data in dialysis patients, pharmacokinetic models are developed for a range of antibiotics. The validated models are further used to optimise and personalise antibiotic dosing in this patient group.
  • Anticoagulation in dialysis patients. Coagulation is quantified in hemodialysers using post dialysis micro CT scanning of the dialysers. This method allows to compare coagulation in different anticoagulation techniques as well as different dialysers and dialysis techniques.
  • Artificial intelligence: There is general optimism and enthusiasm that the introduction of Big Data and related technologies will substantially change and improve delivery of medical care and healthcare decision making. In the project proposed here we will explore how the use of routinely collected data (RCD) can be of  real benefit for healthcare decision-making. To achieve this objective, we will explore the technical,  legal and ethical problems related to collecting and aggregating data, data quality, and assess how  and to what extent these data can be turned into evidence.
  • Biobank Kidney Ghent: Prevention of end-stage kidney disease and kidney disease related morbidities and mortality is a key objective in the research on chronic kidney disease (CKD). It is important to identify biomarkers or factors involved in pathophysiology if CKD. To achieve this, samples of different types (blood, buffycoat, urine, dialysate, faeces, nails) of patients in different stages of CKD have been stored in the registered biobank: "Biobank Kidney Ghent".
  • Impact of semantic opacity when defining acute kidney injury in prediction modelling: a big data analysis.
  • The disease-modifying effect of the microbiome in a spontaneous mouse model for systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Uremic toxins and gut microbiome: In CKD many uremic toxins originate in the colon and are bound to circulation proteins, which hampers their removal by dialysis therapy. Thus, targeting the primary origin of these toxins is crucial for early stage prevention strategies. Understanding altered metabolic networks associated with colon-derived uremic toxin production in CKD will advance the use of novel strategies for improving morbidity and decreasing mortality, including environmental modulators such as diet and gut microbiome.
  • Vibrational spectroscopy: Biospectroscopy enables the identification of key biochemical changes in tissue associated with a given pathological state, facilitating biomarker extraction and automated detection of key lesions. Infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy are two important analytical techniques, which are low-cost and label-free, with minimal sample preparation required. In this research topic, the potential identification and quantification of urinary and blood biochemical components by vibrational spectroscopy is investigated in patients with kidney diseases.

Research Staff