Paving the way for better diagnosis and treatment of chronic kidney disease

Meet professor Rikke Nørregaard

“I hope we will be able to identify new lead candidates for chronic kidney disease targets which can pave the way for development of new drugs and personalized medicine which will ultimately decrease the number of patients requiring dialysis and renal transplantation.”

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects about 10 percent of the population worldwide and millions die each year because they do not have access to good and affordable treatment.

The harsh reality of these facts is the motivation for professor Rikke Nørregaard who works to advance our understanding of the pathophysiology of CKD and develop new therapeutic strategies to protect against renal injury.

She has established a unique translational toolkit consisting of cell, animal and human tissue-based disease models and is currently using these models to identify new therapeutic targets for CKD.

From bench to bedside

In collaboration with colleagues from Aarhus University Hospital and industry partners from Novo Nordisk, Astra Zeneca and Nordic Bioscience she is using human kidney segments as a novel pre-clinical model for target identification and validation.

This model is used to profile molecular and cellular changes involved in the development and progression of human CKD.

Rikke Nørregaard’s work spans from bench to bedside and she is also involved in clinical studies to develop better diagnostic and treatment methods for CKD patients.

She recognizes the importance of bridging the gap between basic science and practical applications in clinical medicine.

A major obstacle in CKD drug development is that less than 10 percent of drugs entering phase 1 clinical trials show clinical benefit.

“A main reason for this is the lack of suitable tools to predict the relevance of basic research findings for human pathophysiology. So, there is really a need for more translational research into human models to predict the relevance of basic research findings for human pathophysiology.

By leveraging innovative translational models and forging partnerships with key industry players Rikke Nørregaard hopes her research will have a significant impact in the development of diagnostic and treatment methods for CKD in the future.