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Professor Paul Brenchley (PhD) - research

Research interests

The renovascular biology research group is concerned with translating knowledge gained from researching mechanisms of kidney disease and comorbidities into novel therapies for the benefit of patients. The group has interests in

a) preserving native kidney function and preventing progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD)

In this area we are investigating the nephrotic syndrome, in particular, mechanisms of proteinuria in Membranous Nephropathy, Minimal Change Disease and Focal Segmental Glomerular Sclerosis. We are researching the immune, inflammatory and  epigenetic contribution to progression of chronic kidney disease through specific projects focused on Membranous Nephropathy, SLE nephritis and ANCA Vasculitis. We are developing novel biosensors for renal analytes that can detect patients at risk of chronic kidney disease.

b) improving dialysis modalities and reducing the comorbidities of dialysis

We are interested in developing novel ways of removing water and metabolic toxins in patients whose kidneys have failed.  Arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) provide the vascular access necessary to undertake haemodialysis but 30-50% of AVF fail to mature following surgery. We are investigating the epigenetic, genetic and inflammatory mechanisms that control AVF maturation.  For patients on peritoneal dialysis, it is essential that the peritoneal membrane maintains its function allowing water and uraemic toxins to be removed, but commonly the membrane can thicken over time due to fibrosis and permeability function is lost. A rare condition called encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis may develop in a minority of patients which  is life threatening requiring surgery to remove a cocoon of fibrous matrix enveloping the viseral organs. We are researching the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms driving inflammatory scarring of the peritoneal membrane. 

c) improving outcomes for kidney transplantation

The shortage of organs for transplantation means many patients cannot benefit from this therapy which for most patients is often the best form of renal replacement therapy. We are exploring stem cell based models for regenerating kidney tissue for transplantation and researching mechanisms that cause transplant kidneys to fail due to recurrence of the primary disease.

Collaborators and affiliated staff


In Manchester

  • Dr Mark Dickinson, Photon Science Institute, Univ of Manchester
  • Prof Matthew Hassell, Photon Science Institute, Univ of Manchester
  • Dr Alastair Hutchison, Renal Medicine, CMFT
  • Dr Tom Jowitt, FLS, Univ of Manchester
  • Dr Rachel Lennon, FLS, Univ of Manchester
  • Dr Edward McKenzie, FLS, Univ of Manchester
  • Dr Sandip Mitra, Renal Medicine, CMFT
  • Dr Nick Webb, Dept of Paediatric Nephrology, CMMC
  • Dr Steve Roberts, Biostatistics, Univ of Manchester

 In UK

  • Prof IanS Roberts, John Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford
  • Prof Robert Kleta, Center for Nephrology, University College, London
  • Dr Gavin Welsh, Dept of Nephrology, University of Bristol


  • Dr Dan Cattran, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Dr Fernando Fervenza, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA
  • Dr Jack Wetzels, Univ of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Prof Bengt Lindholm, Dept of Nephrology, Karolinska University
  • Prof Pierre Ronco, Hopital Tenon, Paris
  • Dr Ron Korstanje, Jackson Labs, Bar Harbor, USA