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REF NO.: 64

SUBJECT: Fundraiser will support kidney research at Memorial
DATE: Oct. 25, 2005

The Kidney Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is holding a fundraising dinner on Friday, Nov. 4 in honour of Dr. Leslie Harris, president emeritus of Memorial University and a dialysis patient for over three years. Dr. Harris received his BA (Ed) and MA (History) from Memorial. In 1963 he joined Memorial as an assistant professor of history and later became department head, served as dean of arts and science and, in 1974, was named vice-president (academic). Appointed president in 1981, he retired on Aug. 30, 1990. He received a honorary degree from Memorial in 1999. In 1987, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Money raised at the dinner in honour of Dr. Harris will go to support research on kidney disease at Memorial University. Tickets are $100 each and may be purchased by phoning Lucy Stoyles at the Kidney Foundation, 753-8999. Dr. Axel Meisen will be introducing Dr. Harris. Aliant is the sponsor for the event, which is being held at the Holiday Inn, so all ticket money will go to fundraising.

Awards from the Kidney Foundation of Canada are already supporting a number of outstanding outstanding kidney researchers at Memorial. Dr. Patrick Parfrey, University Research Professor, was awarded the 2002 Medal for Research Excellence from the Kidney Foundation of Canada for outstanding research in the area of kidney disease and related conditions. He has been investigating the causes, risk factors and treatment of kidney disease for more than two decades.

Acknowledged as a leading world expert on the subject of cardiac disease in dialysis patients, Dr. Parfrey has been instrumental in focusing the attention of the research community on discovering ways to prevent it and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes. With Dr. Brendan Barrett, also a nephrologist, Dr. Parfrey is leading a Canada wide, multi-centre, clinical trial to reduce or delay the onset of advanced kidney disease, cardiovascular events and death.

The Canadian Collaborative Group for the Prevention of Renal and Cardiovascular Endpoints Trial (CanPREVENT) involves five centres across Canada, with St. John’sas the coordinating centre.

The CanPREVENT study will compare “usual care” with a nurse-coordinated multi-risk factor intervention clinic involving a nephrologist, and applying known treatments to reduce or delay the onset of advanced kidney disease and heart and blood vessel problems such as heart attack, stroke and death.

“Usual care” for people with kidney disease can range from those who receive no treatment because they don’t know they have a problem, to others who know it and are being treated by their family doctor, through to those who are seeing a specialist. The study will also address issues of costs associated with care and illness.

As well as CanPREVENT, Dr. Barrett is involved in research on life for people on hemodialysis. A model to explain patient experiences has been developed and is being tested. He is also a site investigator for several trials of immunosuppressive medication post renal transplant.

Another researcher at Memorial whose work has received support from the Kidney Foundation of Canada is biochemist Dr. John Brosnan, University Research Professor. He has researched the regulation of amino acid metabolism in the liver and the kidney.

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