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Research applications welcome to NURTuRE – a new kidney data and sample resource

Researchers from industry and academia can now apply for access to the unique collection of biological samples and linked healthcare data securely held by NURTuRE.  

The National Unified Renal Translational Research Enterprise (NURTuRE) is a unique bio-resource set up to accelerate research into kidney disease. Through NURTuRE, researchers can apply for secure access to consented biological samples and linked healthcare information, as well as genetic data to carry out research designed to benefit kidney patients and their families. 

Why NURTuRE? 

In 2023, our report showed a great need for innovation in renal medicine as kidney failure could overwhelm the healthcare system within 10 years. NURTuRE offers a vital resource to support the research needed to tackle this problem. 

Kidney Research UK has led the collaboration with industry and academia to launch NURTuRE, the first kidney bio-resource covering England, Scotland, and Wales. NURTuRE contains information from around 3,000 chronic kidney disease patients (CKD) and 800 idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS) patients. This will be extended to patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) over the coming years.  

In addition to samples of plasma, serum and urine, NURTuRE will link to long-term clinical (healthcare) data, through the UK Renal Registry. The information in NURTuRE will support crucial new research, offering hope to many patients living with kidney diseases. 

Pippette and tray on a metal research bench

"We face a public health emergency as the number of people diagnosed with kidney disease continues to increase. This not only presents huge challenges for healthcare providers, but also for the patients and families living with the reality of kidney disease. NURTuRE offers an important opportunity to identify new approaches to prevention, diagnosis and care that are so urgently needed.” 

Elaine Davies, Director of Research Operations at Kidney Research UK

Transforming patient outcomes through innovative research 

Enabling access to this information within NURTuRE supports an innovative approach to prevention and treatment for those affected by kidney disease with the opportunity for precision medicine.   

Patient healthcare information is securely held in the SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage) trusted research environment (TRE) in collaboration with Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), supporting cutting-edge research while maintaining appropriate levels of data security and individual privacy that are integral to NURTuRE.  

The biological samples are stored at the UK Biocentre, a high-tech storage facility that complies with globally recognised standards.  

Patient perspectives are central to NURTuRE, with active representation and engagement at all project stages. This approach has been embedded in NURTuRE from design, development of the information sheets and consent forms, through to the access application process and oversight protocols that are being implemented. Applications to NURTuRE are reviewed by Kidney Research UK’s NURTuRE Strategy Group which includes researchers and lay advisors.

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