LUNDBERG FOUNDATION 40 YEARS. Since its inception forty years ago, the IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg Research Foundation has been advancing kidney research in Gothenburg. A few years ago, the foundation became a long-term partner through the establishment of the Lundberg Laboratory for Kidney Research at the University of Gothenburg. The laboratory conducts research on chronic kidney disease and kidney cancer.
Chronic kidney diseases are very common. Estimates say as many as one in ten people in the Western world are affected. Kidney diseases are also closely tied to other common diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. As the population gets older, all of these related diseases become increasingly common.
Strong support for kidney research
The Lundberg Laboratory for Kidney Research brings together researchers studying different diseases affecting the kidneys. The laboratory works translationally, combining molecular biology and preclinical research with clinical research. The research is conducted in collaboration with many partners, and the collaborations with renal medicine at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and with AstraZeneca, in particular, are becoming increasingly significant.
The laboratory was opened in 2018, but the foundation’s importance for kidney research in Gothenburg dates to well before then.
“The Lundberg Foundation has always been a strong supporter of kidney research in Gothenburg, and of course we are very happy and grateful for that. Over the years, many of our grant applications to the foundation have been successful, resulting in highly sophisticated equipment and funds for operating these tools,” says Professor Jenny Nyström, who leads the Lundberg Laboratory for Kidney Research with support from fellow researcher Kerstin Ebefors.
The Lundberg Laboratory for Kidney Research is located in the Fysiologen high rise on Medicinareberget. The premises are simple and appear at first glance to be a lab like any other. But the counters are lined with sophisticated equipment purchased for many millions of Swedish kronor. The gear is used regularly, not only for kidney research, but also by researchers in metabolism and other fields.
“Because we have all of this equipment, it’s easy to take the next step and study the same samples using other techniques. Our microscopes are also connected together, so that other microscopes can automatically bring out the material you were just working with using other imaging technology,” says researcher Kerstin Ebefors.
Detailed biopsies studies
The researchers associated with the Lundberg Laboratory for Kidney Research study many different aspects of kidney diseases.
Jenny Nyström and Kerstin Ebefors conduct basic research on IgA nephritis, a glomerular kidney disease involving inflammation of the capillary tufts of the kidneys. In a large project, their team is studying kidney biopsies from patients with kidney disease using omics techniques, where the gene, protein, and metabolic signal pathways are studied and combined to obtain a complete understanding of the disease. The purpose of this basic research is to understand why the kidney tissue is inflamed and what causes some people to be affected more severely, while progression is slower in others.
ABOUT THE LUNDBERG FOUNDATION
The IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg Research Foundation was founded by IngaBritt Lundberg in 1982 in memory of her husband, merchant Arne Lundberg, who was born in Gothenburg in 1910. The purpose of the foundation is to promote medical scientific research, primarily pertaining to cancer, kidney diseases, and orthopedics, and it prioritizes the purchase of instruments, aids, and equipment. During the period 1983 to 2021, 573 grants were approved, totaling SEK 965 million, of which SEK 37 million was awarded in 2021. Research in the Gothenburg region takes precedence. The foundation has its registered office in Gothenburg.
BY: ELIN LINDSTRÖM