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Pilot Grants

The following pilot funding opportunities are available to faculty researchers for the development of new projects.  Proposals are reviewed by an external review committee who consider the significance and relevance of the proposed research to kidney physiology and disease, the validity and feasibility of the approach, the innovativeness of the project, the expertise of the investigator(s), and the likelihood that it will lead to an extramurally funded research project.

RFA on PKD and Cancer: Apply by 10/30/23

The Kansas PKD Center has partnered with the KU Cancer Center to offer a pilot & feasibility grant to investigate the genetics, biochemistry, or cell biology related to polycystic kidney disease (PKD), recognizing that the neoplastic growth of cysts in PKD has many features in common with cancer.  Faculty at KUMC, KU-Lawrence, Stowers and CMH are eligible to apply by October 30, 2023. One grant of $50,000 direct costs will be awarded. 


Racing Unlimited PKD Pilot Grants

The purpose of this grant is to support new basic science research on Polycystic Kidney Disease. Four grants have been awarded totaling $240,000 that provides $60,000 in funding for each research project.  The Kidney Institute is grateful to Racing Unlimited in Idaho and all of the runners who participate in the Sawtooth Relay  and the Zeitgeist Half Marathon for making these grants possible.  The grant recipients and their project titles are:

  • James Calvet, Ph.D. - "Calcium and cAMP Signaling Mechanisms in PKD"
  • Xiaogang Li, Ph.D. -   "The roles of heart polycystin-1 in ADPKD"
  • Stephen Parnell, Ph.D. - "Does Polycystin-1 Reverse Cystogenesis?"
  • Darren Wallace, Ph.D. - "The Role of B-Raf in Aberrant Cell Proliferation in PKD"

Kidney Institute Pilot Grants

The Kidney Institute provides pilot funds to investigators for the development of new projects in the field of kidney physiology, cell biology and translational research. Both basic science and clinical research projects are eligible for consideration. Investigators working in other areas are particularly encouraged to submit proposals to apply their expertise to problems related to kidney disease. Pilot projects are funded for one year with a total budget of up to $40,000. Past grant recipients and their project titles are:

    • Yinglong Miao, Ph.D., and Robin Maser, Ph.D.- - Mechanism of polycystin-1 signal transduction in complex with polycystin-2
    • Pamela Tran, Ph.D. - "Global profiling of O-GlcNAcylated proteins in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease"
    • Pooja Budhiraja, M.D. - "Low Bioavailability Steroids for Treatment of Diarrhea Associated with Mycophenolate in Renal Transplant Recipients"
    • Reena Rao, Ph.D. - "The Role of GSK3β in Tubular Repair and Development of Fibrosis Following AKI"
    • Madhulika Sharma, Ph.D. - "The Role of Notch Signaling in Polycystic Kidney Disease"
    • Darren Wallace, Ph.D. - "Targeting the LKB1-AMPK Pathway in Polycystic Kidney Disease"
    • Stephen Parnell, Ph.D.  - "Does Mutation L4132Δ Specifically Disrupt an Essential Signaling Function of Polycystin-1?"
    • Madhulika Sharma, Ph.D.  - "The role of Notch signaling in Polycystic Kidney Disease"
    • Bhaskar Das, Ph.D.  - "Boratinoid as novel therapeutic agent for treatment of polycystic kidney disease"
    • Aditi Gupta, Ph.D.  - "Cognitive impairment in end stage renal disease and its imaging correlates"
    • Robin Maser, Ph.D.  - "The Role of Polycystin-1 Biogenesis in Polycystic Kidney Disease"
    • Stephen Parnell, Ph.D.  - "Is mutation of a protein phosphatase-1 binding domain in polycystin-1 sufficient to cause PKD?"
    • Katherine Swenson-Fields, Ph.D. - "Investigations into the pro-proliferative expression of WNT5A in ADPKD cyst cells using ADPKD cell lines."
KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
The Jared Grantham Kidney Institute
Mail Stop 3018
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160