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  • Research Grants for Professionals- Grant Cycle is OPEN! 

    The National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland & Delaware (NKFMDDE) is pleased to announce our Research Application Portal OPENS tonight at 9:00pm – May 2, 2022.  Over the years, the National Kidney Foundation has invested over $100 million to support the treatment of kidney disease. Locally, the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland & Delaware (NKFMDDE) has been able to distribute over $3,500,000 over the last few decades for pilot projects and for those early in their academic careers. Funding supports pilot projects focused on different areas of kidney disease (i.e., blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, urological disease, dialysis, and transplantation) that will ultimately impact improvement in the care of kidney disease patients through discovering novel mechanisms or management strategies.   

    Local Types of Grants

    1. Professional Development Awards- a maximum award not to exceed $40,000
    2. Mini-Grants – awards up to $10,000 each

    Forms Required:
    Mini-Grant: Click here to download
    PDA: Click here to download

    Locally, the Medical Advisory Board (MAB) meets to review grants annually. The MAB determines the awards that are distributed and monitors the progress of each grant. Grant applications are reviewed and scored by a committee of dedicated medical advisors.  


    Note: All instructions and information to apply for a Research Grant is included within the Grant Portal. You have the option to begin an application and save your work to access up until you decide to submit your application. Please take the time to review all information contained within the portal. 

    Click here to access NKFMDDE’s GRANT PORTAL

    If you have questions or need assistance with the application portal please contact Pattie Dash, Executive Director, pattie.dash@kidney.org, or via cell at 410.961.1644.

    *This deadline/timeframe is non-negotiable and only fully completed applications will be considered.

    The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk.

    The National Kidney Foundation is the leading source of nonprofit funds for research on the kidney and urinary tract diseases. The number of American adults who have chronic kidney disease is now estimated to be 37 million – that’s one out of every seven or 15 percent of the adult population – according to the latest data analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The higher estimate in the number of Americans affected by chronic kidney disease, versus statistics reported in previous years, is due to several factors, including differences in study time frames, methodologies and populations, as well as an aging population and increased prevalence of risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension. For more information about our national research programs, please click here.


    The 2022-2023 application process is OPEN for this period.

    Applications were DUE, with no exceptions, on or before Monday, June 20, 2022 at 5:00pm

    Research Grant Awardees

    See a list of the 2015-2016 research grants that National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware funded here.
    See a list of the 2016-2017 research grants that National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware funded here.
    See a list of the 2017-2018 research grants that National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware funded here.
    See a list of the 2019-2020 research grants that the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware funded here.
    See a list of the 2021-2022 research grants that the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware funded here.

    Research Grant Testimonials

    “I’m more than happy to relate how important the NKFMDDE grant support has been to me over the years. I have received two grants from the NKFMDDE, the first was a mini-grant that was important while I was a post-doc at Hopkins. It allowed me to create a new mouse model for studying Ca2+ regulation in the kidney. The grant got the project going. When I left as a post-doc the project was well established and my former mentor, Bill Guggino, hopes to publish the findings soon.

    The second grant I received from the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware was the PDA award for the 2013-2014 year. I would like to spend some time discussing the role this grant has played in my development. I was lucky enough to receive this award just after transitioning to UMB as a non-tenured track research associate. My primary work was on projects headed by Paul Welling, but the PDA provided some independence and allowed for me to make good progress on my own independent project studying uric acid transport in the kidney. This independent project I envisioned as my one path to my own lab and a tenure track position. The PDA funding kept that possibility alive and gave me the chance to generate significant preliminary data. I used that data to apply for a Scientific Development Grant from the American Heart Association, this is a 4 year almost 400K grant. I won the award on my first attempt with a score in the top 2 percentile. This award made me very competitive on the job market and after a long search I accepted the tenure track position offered here at UMB in the physiology department. I’m currently setting up my own lab, am close to a funding agreement with a large multinational pharmaceutical company, a Co- Core Director on a P30 Program grant, and very happy.

    It may seem trite to suggest one thing made that all possible, but I don’t see things working out for me as they have without the PDA award and the support of the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware. I look forward to giving back to the foundation where possible and pushing renal / nephrology research in Maryland, as both a basic science researcher and a Medical School educator.”

    Owen M. Woodward PhD
    Assistant Professor
    University of Maryland School of Medicine
    Department of Physiology

    “Support from the NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware has been critical for me and my lab. First, early on in my career I had one of the Professional Development Awards after my K08 ended. The PDA was instrumental in supporting me while I wrote my first R01. Over the years, my lab and my post doctoral fellows have been fortunate to have several mini grants. Although a small amount of money, these extra funds contributed to completing work that was ultimately published. In addition, these grants are very important for trainees who learn how to write proposals, not to mention the thrill they have from getting their own grant.”

    Terry Watnick MD
    Baltimore PKD Center

    “I have received three mini-grants from National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware in the past and continue to be incredibly grateful for the support.  My research is focused on adherence in adolescent kidney transplant recipients, knowing that graft survival rates for this group of patients are among the lowest of any age group, and poor adherence is likely a major contributor to these poor rates. One recognized barrier to adherence is poor patient-provider communication. With mini-grant funding from the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware, I have been able to support the addition of adolescent kidney transplant patients into the NIH-funded CKD: Hypertension Adherence in Teens (CHAT) study to evaluate provider communication regarding adherence and the impact of the provider role on medication adherence in patients with transplant. Preliminary data made possible by funding from the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware has allowed me to secure additional funding for 2015-2017 from the American Society of Transplantation/Astellas. Additionally, I have been afforded the opportunity to discuss our findings at several national meetings, including an oral presentation at the International Pediatric Transplant Association- Congress on Pediatrics in March 2015 and poster presentations at the American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting in November 2014 and the upcoming American Transplant Congress in May 2015. I anticipate submission of a manuscript detailing our findings in the next several months.

    Again, I am extremely thankful for past, current and possibly future research support from the NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware.”

    Cozumel S. Pruette, MD, MHS
    Assistant Professor
    Division of Pediatric Nephrology
    Johns Hopkins University

    “I received the NKF Professional Development Award in 2011. I consider this award instrumental for my subsequent work in kidney disease research. It provided critical bridge funding to support my research in advanced chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation and enabled the publication of multiple studies. Because of the NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware Professional Development Award, I had protected research time in my first year on faculty and was able to hire a biostatistician. As a direct result of this support, I went on to obtain a 5-year mentored career development “K” award from the National Institutes of Health, and have published 50+ peer-reviewed manuscripts over the past 4 years. The protected time also afforded me the opportunity to participate in the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium as the Director of Nephrology Initiatives. This consortium has published several seminal papers informing the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) CKD guidelines; we continue to work on some of the most important and controversial questions in the field. For example, we have worked closely with the Food & Drug Administration on developing and validating surrogate endpoints in clinical trials of kidney disease.”

    Morgan Grams, MD, PhD
    Assistant Professor
    Division of Renal Medicine

    “I had received a NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware medical student grant which influenced my decision to go into nephrology and a NKF fellowship grant which encouraged me to go into nephrology research. I also had a NKF Young Investigator Grant which supported my research until I received R01 funding.  Subsequently to being an established investigator, the NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware mini-grants have helped my team perform high risk experiments that led to preliminary data that we used for NIH R01s. The NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware mini grant program has been very helpful for my trainees and led to larger grants that have had an impact on our understanding and diagnosis of acute kidney injury in the native kidneys and transplants. Our work has been published in top medical peer reviewed journals and presented internationally.”

    Hamid Rabb, MD
    Department of Nephrology

    “I am one of those researchers who have availed of mini-grants from NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware. I applied and was awarded my first one on 2013. It was entitled “Functional and Structural Characterization of Renal Gene Silencing through Sub-capsular vs. Medullary Interstitial siRNA Infusion”. It was a detailed and in-depth comparison of targeted gene silencing in the kidney. It compared the different routes; classical tail vein, direct intra-medullary and my own novel sub-capsular technique using an osmotic mini-pump method. It was designed to exclusively target a specific single kidney with minimal spillage and effect on the collateral structures like the liver, spleen, intestines etc. It also aimed to use a fractional amount of the precious and expensive siRNA than what was customarily used in the classical tail vein injection. It also aimed to avoid the very expensive and tedious process of producing knockout animal models. The results showed the advantage of the novel sub-capsular osmotic mini-pump method in terms of economy with a relatively comparable (>70%) knockout capability as well as the advantage of being potentially reversible as seen with the phenotypic reversion after the siRNA in the osmotic pump was stopped.

    The results were presented during the annual NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware meeting held in Baltimore, MD on May 2014 as well as during the annual HBPR 2014 Meeting held in San Francisco, CA on September 2014.

    For the year 2014, I was again fortunate to be awarded and funded by the NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware for my new project entitled “Hypertension Amelioration and Renal Structural Characterization of the D5KO Mouse”. This time, the aim of this project was to replace the missing gene of interest which was the Drd5in this case, and reverse the phenotypic hypertensive effect seen in the D5KO mouse. The process involved the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) – conjugated D5dr introduced by retrograde ureteral infusion using a fine (35G) needle to introduce the solution. This method was selected over the previous sub-capsular pump method to eliminate the dwelling time of the solution in the pump and directly for the virus based conjugate to incorporate into the target areas of the kidney. This is an ongoing project as of the moment as we are still on the viral packaging and validation phase of the AAV-conjughate production. Cellular studies are ongoing to confirm the stability and effectivity of the infusate. Hopefully we can finish soon and test this method of correcting the effects of a missing gene as well as validate the AAV based conjugate and the retrograde ureteral method.

    I would like to thank the NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware for giving me the opportunity and the funds to pursue what I think is a bright and novel idea of gene manipulation.”

    Laureano D. Asico, DVM
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of Nephrology
    University of Maryland School of Medicine

    “As a recipient of the 2012-2013 National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Serving  Maryland & Delaware’s Professional Development Award, I can attest to the benefit of participation in the research activities afforded by the NKF Serving Maryland & Delaware. 

    My project evaluated the association of urinary enzyme abnormalities with medication errors in individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD).  Results of this analysis were varied; a statistically significant association was noted between known nephrotoxic medications and abnormal urinary enzymes, but an association with abnormal urinary enzymes was also noted between a non-nephrotoxic class of medications.  As a result, the conclusions to be drawn from this analysis were mixed and somewhat difficult to interpret. Consequently, these findings have incited collaborators to further investigate these results in a broader cohort of individuals.  These proceedings are ongoing. 

    As a result of my participation in these study activities, I have been able to collaborate with nationally recognized researchers with similar research interests, and am involved in validating these findings in two broader cohorts of individuals with CKD.  I gained valuable expertise in data collection, data analysis, presentation skills, and multidisciplinary collaboration.  I am now the recipient of an NIH NIDDK K23 Career Development Award in the area of patient safety, which directly aligns with the themes of my NKF Serving  Maryland & Delaware’s Professional Development Award.”

    Clarissa Jonas Diamantidis, MD, MHS
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine

    “I want to take a moment to thank you for allowing for the opportunity for me to rotate at the Johns Hopkins Hospital through your support of the Diversity Council Clerkship. It was an extremely meaningful experience for me. Not only did I get to participate in the care of an underserved population, but I was able to learn from patients and diseases affecting patients that are rare at my home institution in New Hampshire. It also gave me the opportunity to meet and train under many of the brilliant faculty at the hospital. I am truly indebted to you and the Kidney Foundation for the support. Thank you!”

    Ilton Cubero
    M.D. Candidate, Class of 2016
    Dartmouth | Geisel School of Medicine