On July 19, the House Appropriations Committee approved its Labor-HHS-Education bill that would fund kidney research and programs for 2018.

Kidney disease research is done within the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Disease (NIDDK). The Appropriations Committee approved a funding level of $1.89 billion for NIDDK, which is an increase over last year of $29 million.

An important kidney program that the NIDDK reported in its budget request is called “Rebuilding a Kidney.” The program is a consortium of research projects aimed at enhancing kidney repair and promote the generation of new kidney cells. Investigators have developed laboratory-based procedures to isolate and expand the number of mouse kidney cells, capable of differentiating into different cell types by promoting cell renewal. Researchers reporting that kidney stem cells isolated from the adult mouse kidney collecting duct can self-renew in the laboratory.

The Rebuilding a Kidney program’s goal is to coordinate and support studies that will result in the ability to general or repair nephrons that can function within the kidney.

The House Appropriations Committee expressed interest in specific kidney disease research projects and made the following requests in its bill:

  • Pediatric Kidney Disease.—The Committee is encouraged by the current multicenter pediatric kidney disease research funded by NIDDK. While important strides have been made, further research is critical to the validation of new prognostic indicators, novel diagnostic biomarkers, and therapeutics necessary to better understand and treat kidney disease as children mature from newborns and ultimately transition to adulthood. The Committee requests that NIDDK report back in the fiscal year 2019 Congressional Justification on the steps taken to advance this type of collaborative research.
  • Health Disparities and Pediatric Kidney Disease.—The Committee recognizes that health disparities play a significant role in kidney disease in children, from the incidence and progression of kidney disease in children, to the long-term health outcomes, such as access to kidney transplant, access to living donors and disparate transplant survival. Children of minority populations are disproportionately impacted by kidney disease, and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities work in this area is critical to defining the basis for these health disparities and developing mechanisms to address them. The Committee requests that NIMHD catalog the research being conducted in this area and report back on the research currently underway and research gaps in this area of study in the fiscal year 2019 Congressional Justification.

The bill also includes funding for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDPHP) for Chronic Kidney Disease. The amount is the same as last year and is used on State, Tribal, and community programs for health promotion.