Michigan Medicine receives funding for next phase of Kidney Precision Medicine Project

November 3, 2022  //  FOUND IN: News

U-M along with collaborators at the University of Washington at Seattle as the Central Hub, will continue to lead the Kidney Data Mapping Center and the Single Cell Tissue Interrogation Core Facility in the next phase of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) funded Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP).

Personalized or precision medicine aims to match treatments to a person’s disease biology. The KPMP is a national consortium that seeks to redefine acute and chronic kidney diseases based on research kidney biopsies used to define disease biology and identify novel targeted, personalized therapies. Learn more at kpmp.org.


Michigan Medicine will be central to this next phase of KPMP, having won two additional related competing renewal awards. These three awards coordinated by Matthias Kretzler, M.D., nephrologist and computational biologist at Michigan Medicine, amount to $32M of funding, the largest funding initiative of the kidney branch of the NIDDK.

Faculty and staff at Michigan Medicine working on this project will be involved in pioneering kidney-related data sharing and data visualization tools that will enable open science and nurture an open kidney research and translational medicine community.

These efforts will be key to the disruptive science, needed to address the paucity of effective treatments for a growing global population impacted by kidney disease.

Chronic and acute kidney diseases are a collection of heterogeneous diseases associated with a wide range of debilitating symptoms. Recent estimates suggest that, worldwide, over 850 million people have kidney diseases.

The available treatments to prevent kidney failure in those diagnosed with a kidney disease have variable efficacy and are associated with severe side-effects. The NIDDK expects KPMP to play an instrumental role in bringing precision medicine to these underserved patients and overcome the large unmet need in kidney disease treatment and clinical care.

The objectives of the KPMP are to recruit a diverse longitudinal cohort with kidney diseases willing to donate a kidney biopsy for research, longitudinal clinical data and biosamples that will be used to create a publicly accessible data repository of de-identified clinical, physiologic, imaging, cellular and molecular data using FAIR principles (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable).

These data will be disseminated through the kidney tissue atlas comprising data visualization tools and a collection of data maps providing insights into different aspects of cellular and molecular states in the kidney, both in health and disease. The atlas will enable researchers to identify patterns that can be used to define new molecularly-informed disease subgroups and identify critical targets for new treatments. The atlas will also be critical to identifying markers that can be used to group patients with similar disease biology or assess response to specific treatments, two key steps for implementing precision medicine in clinical practice.

To achieve these objectives, Michigan Medicine will lead the effort with scientists and nephrologists from across the U.S., building networks with other premier research institutions like University of Washington, Harvard, Princeton, Duke and others.

“The Michigan Medicine team is thrilled to lead our field into the future of kidney treatments, said Kretzler, principal investigator and globally renowned proponent of systems biology and kidney translational medicine “Having established a research program in precision medicine in our rare glomerular diseases network, KPMP is now the opportunity to align forces across disciplines and institutions to bring new treatments to people suffering from acute and chronic kidney disease. Michigan Medicine team science has allowed us to establish the framework for KPMP in the first funding cycle and we are ideally suited to bring now full breath of cutting-edge biomedical research to change the face of nephrology. This will provide our patients with new hope for future treatments.”