Press release

American Kidney Fund Awarded $100,000 Grant from Hearst Foundations to Support Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship Program

The donation will support one postdoctoral fellow to conduct research on kidney disease for one year.

ROCKVILLE, Md.(Oct. 4, 2023) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) is pleased to announce a $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations to support a postdoctoral research fellow in AKF's Clinical Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) program, which identifies and funds emerging clinical researchers seeking to advance kidney care.

Since 1989, AKF's highly competitive research program has provided grants to more than 50 nephrologists dedicated to improving the quality of care provided to people with kidney disease. It has funded some of the field's most prominent researchers early in their careers, helping to address the shortage of nephrology researchers. Alumni of AKF's research program have gone on to pioneer national guidelines for detecting and managing chronic kidney disease, led research on biomarkers' influence on the progression of kidney disease and spearheaded initiatives to reduce racial disparities in kidney patient care.

Kidney disease affects 37 million people in the U.S. and more than 800,000 are living with kidney failure. People with kidney failure must either get a kidney transplant or depend on life-sustaining dialysis treatments to survive.

"AKF deeply appreciates the Hearst Foundations' generous support of our CSN program and AKF's work to improve the lives of people with kidney disease," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO. "This funding is critical because at a time when kidney disease is a public health crisis, harnessing the skills, knowledge and insights of every up-and-coming researcher is key to bringing us one step closer to a world without kidney disease."

Fellows in the CSN program conduct prevention and outcomes research on kidney disease while receiving advanced training in medical ethics, biostatistics and epidemiology, all of which are essential to kidney research.

The Hearst Foundations previously donated $100,000 to AKF's CSN program in 2019.

The Hearst Foundations was founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1946 as a national philanthropic foundation that identifies and funds nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and satisfying lives.

"On behalf of the Hearst Foundations, we are proud to support AKF's work to improve kidney care and better the lives of people with kidney disease," said Donna Kalajian Lagani, VP, Eastern Director, The Hearst Foundations. "AKF's Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program has served as a launching point for a distinguished career for many talented researchers who have made significant contributions to nephrology and we are honored to continue funding this important effort." 

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.

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