Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Renal Services

The Academic Directorate of Renal Services Research Strategy 2018-2021 is available on request -

Key Contacts

Name Role
Dr Arif Khwaja Research Lead
Dr Bisher Kawar Clinical Director
Chris Monk General Manager
Lisa Thompson-Fox Service Manager
Joanna Myers Group Finance Manager
Tarnia Richardson Directorate Accountant
Louese Dunn
Directorate Research Coordinator
Samantha Walmsley
CRIO Research Coordinator


Academic nephrology in Sheffield has a long and respected tradition expressed through research and educational activities at the Sheffield Kidney Institute (SKI) and the Academic Unit of Nephrology. Our clinical research programme is managed through monthly research executive meetings with the aim to strengthen the clinical research within the directorate by:
  • Giving all renal patients the opportunity to participate in clinical research
  • Ensuring a high standard of research governance
  • Building on our reputation to deliver high quality research studies
  • Strengthening our capacity to recruit participants to clinical research studies
  • Securing reputable research grant income for innovative projects

Preclinical translational research is conducted in the Medical School and managed through monthly meetings of the Academic Nephrology Unit. Current research priorities are in the area of molecular pathogenesis and treatment of ADPKD and kidney fibrosis.

Research Strategy

Our current research strengths include:
  • Polycystic kidney disease/Renal genetics
  • Peritoneal Dialysis/Home dialysis therapies
  • Clinical trials – managed by a clinical research co-ordinator, we have a high recruitment rate
  • Good laboratory infrastructure with international reputation
  • All university staff returned in REF 2014 (5/5)

The academic research team is headed by Professor Albert Ong, supported by Professor Martin Wilkie and Dr Arif Khwaja. Our clinical research team comprises a research co-ordinator, Louese Dunn, with administrative support from Megan Bennett and Barry Gray, and a research nursing team within the NIHR Clinical Research Facility. Research within the Renal Unit is managed by our Clinical Trials Assistants, Chris Blackwell and Lubna Sheazadi. We have strong engagement from our consultant clinical colleagues, including nephrologists and renal failure surgeons, as Principle Investigators on NIHR portfolio adopted studies. Promising areas for development include recent collaborations with ScHARR, Bone Metabolism and Cardiovascular Science with the Faculty of Medicine.

We are in the unique and fortunate position of having a number of extremely high calibre academic nephrology trainees who have completed or are working towards higher degrees and have a proven track record of attracting competitive funding. They have the potential to have a transformative impact on the academic and research activities at SKI if they can be retained in Sheffield.

Research Themes

  • ADPKD and inherited renal diseases – Prof A Ong, Dr R Simms
  • Dialysis outcomes research – Prof M Wilkie, Dr S Jenkins, Dr V Reddy, Dr S Siddiqi
  • Complications of CKD including bone and cardiovascular disease – Dr A Khwaja, Dr S Salam
  • Links with the University of Sheffield and STH cross cutting research themes including ScHARR, INSIGNEO, Clinical trials, Imaging – Dr J Fotheringham, Mr S Boyes

Renal Directorate Research Executive

The Renal Directorate Research Executive supports research in the Directorate, overseeing the set-up of research studies within the Directorate in order to ensure that research activity fits with the research strategy, is appropriately costed and funded, and receives sufficient support. Additionally, the executive group reviews all active studies to ensure any concerns with recruitment are discussed and solutions are implemented.

The Executive meetings are held monthly and all studies involving the Directorate need to be reviewed and approved by the Research Executive before they can proceed. Investigators requiring approval are encouraged to attend the meeting to present their proposed study to the group. Please contact Louese Dunn ( for further information and assistance with this process.

Sheffield Kidney Research Foundation

In September 2011, Sheffield Kidney Research Foundation became part of Sheffield Hospitals Charity. Until that time Sheffield Kidney Research Foundation had operated as an independent charity, raising funds for research into new treatments for kidney disease.

The aims of the charity will remain exactly the same under the umbrella of Sheffield Hospitals Charity, and it is intended that with greater resources even more can now be done to fund and support research into kidney disease to improve the lives of patients living with this hugely life-limiting condition. For more information please click here.