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Dr Bnar Talabani

http://www.kidneyresearchunit.wales/dr-bnar-talabani

Bnar is a Nephrology Wales Clinical Academic Track trainee working in the NHS and doing clinical research for a PhD in the School of Medicine and WKRU. Throughout the pandemic she has worked tirelessly with Team Halo to dispel the misinformation surrounding the Covid19 vaccine, helping Public Health Wales understand the ethnic breakdown of vaccine uptake by conducting multiple surveys to generate good quality data from ethic communities. She also helped support the vaccine programme in mosque vaccination pop up centres across South Wales. The impact this has had is phenomenal. 

This award follows on from last year's 2021 Womenspire Awards.

Twitter: @bnar 
Instagram: @dr_bnar

Bnar's PhD title is: Transcriptional regulation of kidney macrophage function in early diabetic kidney disease  

Diabetes consumes approximately 10% of total NHS resources. Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD) affects 40% of people with diabetes, remaining the commonest cause of kidney failure in the UK and leading to increased mortality. While good control of blood-sugar and blood-pressure can slow the decline of kidney function, we are unable to stop or reverse it. Macrophages are immune cells important in the control of infection and injury. 

Recent advances suggest that Macrophages are important drivers of DKD. Understanding the behaviour of these cells, and how they may contribute to the development of DKD is a central focus of this application. I will capitalise on advances made in Cardiff and Bristol Universities that have (1) developed new, world-leading  approaches to studying subsets of tissue macrophages and (2) developed experimental models of DKD that closely model the pathology. I plan to identify and purify different types of kidney macrophages, and to perform an unbiased profiling of their gene expression patterns. 

I expect these studies to delineate the transcriptional regulatory network underpinning renal macrophage biology in DKD, which I intend to study in depth. Ideally, this will lead to improvements in early diagnosis, stratification and treatment of patients likely to develop DKD.