COLLABORATION. Professor Jenny Nyström was one of four kidney researchers recently invited to the Royal Palace of Stockholm, where Prince Daniel learned about new findings in renal medicine and transplantation research. The discussion dealt with the importance of both basic research and collaboration.
The conversation, which took place at the palace on March 14, followed World Kidney Day, which was a few days earlier. The day is part of a global campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of kidney diseases.
Jenny Nyström is a professor of physiology at the University of Gothenburg. Peter Stenvinkel, a professor of renal medicine at Karolinska Institutet, invited Nyström and two other kidney researchers to join the discussion. Prince Daniel had asked Stenvinkel to prepare a review of the state of research in renal medicine and transplantation.
“It was an honor to be invited, and I enjoyed and appreciated the Prince’s interested in our field of research, especially in connection with World Kidney Day,” says Jenny Nyström.
From lab to patient
During her presentation, Nyström described a project in which her research team developed an idea for a kidney cancer treatment and took it all the way from the laboratory to a patient study.
“We discussed how important it is for researchers to be able to contribute to developing treatments for seriously ill patients. The Prince asked questions about our thought processes and how we come up with ideas like this one, where we use a molecule found in nature that has never before been discussed as a possible cancer treatment.”
The conversation also revolved around the importance of basic research, which permits creativity and the opportunity to explore ideas.
“We also discussed the importance of collaboration. The field of kidney research is not very large in Sweden, but by working together we have managed to conduct important and interesting studies.”
“I think it is very important. It makes others aware that kidney diseases are both quite common and that we need research to improve our understanding and develop new treatments. The fact that Prince Daniel is a kidney transplant recipient certainly contributes to his interest, which I found to be very genuine and insightful. It was a very pleasant afternoon.”
The discussions also involved two other kidney researchers: Annika Östman Wernersson, a professor of kidney and transplantation science and newly appointed vice-chancellor of Karolinska Institutet, and Alireza Biglarnia, an adjunct associate professor of transplantation surgery at Lund University.
BY: ELIN LINDSTRÖM
PHOTO: HENRIK GARLÖV/KUNGL. HOVSTATERNA, & JOSEFIN BERGENHOLTZ/INSTITUTE OF NEUROSCIENCE AND PHYSIOLOGY