Novel therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease

Project Details

Diabetes is associated microvascular complications which lead to diabetic nephropathy, cardiomyopathy and retinopathy. Inflammation and scar tissue formation (fibrosis) in these various organs contribute to the decline in organ function in both diabetic and non-diabetic disease. At present there is no effective treatment for organ fibrosis.

The Renal and Cardiovascular Translational Research group is an internationally recognised team focused on developing novel compounds for the treatment of pathological inflammation and fibrosis in diabetic and non-diabetic kidney, heart and eye disease. Our projects adopt a “bench to bedside” approach to research where we evaluate the efficacy of novel therapies on structural and functional aspects of heart, kidney, liver and eye disease using well characterised animal models that mimic the complications seen in humans. We can then assess the underlying mechanism of action of these compounds using specialised molecular and histopathological techniques, complemented with cell culture systems.

As a team, we have contributed to the discovery of several anti-fibrotic compounds that inhibit the progression of diabetic and non-diabetic kidney and cardiovascular disease, leading to the establishment of the biotech company Fibrotech Therapeutics, with our compounds entering clinical trials in human diabetic patients. Thus the information gained from our pre-clinical studies allows us to rapidly translate pre-clinical proof of concept data into clinical development for the treatment of both diabetic kidney, heart and eye disease. We have a number of projects suitable for Honours or PhD students that are available to outstanding and enthusiastic students interested in pursuing a career in research and in with a particular interest in pre-clinical drug development.


Research Group

Darren Kelly

School Research Themes


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Department / Centre


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