The role of the clinician-researcher
The role of a clinician-researcher is vitally important in the medical and scientific world, as they have a unique perspective on both research and practical treatment. So, a clinician-researcher will be more aware of point-of-care issues than a researcher and usually more up-to-date than a physician. Thanks to their experience in both sides of the coin, they are willing and able to further encourage the application of new research in clinical centres. Not only this, but they will also raise field issues in order to propose research themes to the national level.
Physician researchers are employed by research institutions and hospitals and specialize in smaller and rarer medical issues. They are the crucial link between clinical research and translational medicine.
Research funding within university hospitals
Nassim Kamar and his team have already participated in a number of research projects, including the DIVAT project which was already in partnership with some members of the KTD-innov consortium. For this project, they are focusing their efforts on renal allograft rejection mechanisms.
These research projects are funded by the French government, which is pivotal in order to promote French excellence, as well as making positive steps forward to the research and the applications associated with the project. Pr. Kamar agrees that "government funding is essential for this kind of project."
Collaboration: Exchange of good practices
Collaboration is an important aspect of a medical researcher’s profession, as it is an opportunity to create a link between different medical centres, as well as combining resources in order to make considerable progress in the field. For example, several transplant centres in university hospitals are participating in the KTD-innov project, including Nantes, Lyon, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Toulouse, and the Parisian hospitals under the APHP flagship.
The project involves a wide array of people from medical professionals and clinical centres to research teams, industrial partners, and more. The role of clinician-researchers in this kind of research project is crucial. They bring a patient-oriented point of view, making sure the outcomes benefit to both clinicians and patients.
From 15 to 18 September 2019 the annual event of the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT) will take place in Copenhagen.
ESOT is the European umbrella organisation under which all European transplant professionals are organized. The organisation trains and supports its members through various European programmes and events, such as the 2019 event in Copenhagen.
Several members of the KTD-innov consortium are fortunate to be able to participate in this event with the EU Train-ESOT symposium on 15 September. As well as through various conferences such as that of Dr. Hannah Kaminski of the University Hospital of Bordeaux on the "effect of antithymocyte globulin on CMV infection in renal transplant recipients". And a presentation by Professor Nassim Kamar at the Novartis symposium.
To follow the various presentations of the event, go to #ESOT2019 and @KTDinnov.
Collaborative and sustainable research on graft rejection in Bordeaux
The Bordeaux University Hospital's participation in the KTD-innov project was a natural collaboration between Prof. Couzi and the two co-coordinators of the project, Drs Alexandre Loupy and Sophie Brouard.
Thanks to this funding, the Bordeaux University Hospital has joined a partnership with other university hospitals, such as those in Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse, Montpellier and the APHP.
At the Bordeaux University Hospital, the team of Prof. Couzi and Prof. Merville is conducting translational research with the CNRS-UMR 5164 ImmunoConcept unit led by Dr. Julie Déchnet-Merville on cytomegalovirus infection, an infection particularly common in renal transplant patients.
Other research themes of the service include humoral rejection mediated by anti-HLA antibodies, which is at the centre of the KTD-innov study. The participation of the University Hospital of Bordeaux in the KTD-innov project will therefore help to consolidate a team of researchers thanks to stable funding for a project over several years.
Within the team at the University Hospital of Bordeaux led by Prof. Couzi and Prof. Merville, 11 people are working on the KTD-innov project, including three clinical research associates. Accompanied by several co-investigators, they are responsible for accompanying transplant patients in their voluntary participation in the KTD-innov study.
The collection of this data is essential for the progress of the research project, because it is the basis on which it is based. As in six transplant centers in France, the team of Prof. Couzi and Merville collects clinical, biological, immunological and molecular data from kidney transplant patients. These data are then anonymized before being analyzed by Inserm, Nantes University Hospital, APHP and Bio-Rad. It is by analyzing these data that researchers hope to gain a better understanding of the complex causes of renal transplant rejection.
The KTD-innov project has a great impact on the different parties involved in the research
For Prof. Couzi, the KTD-innov project has enormous benefits for patients because it offers a better definition of the diagnosis of rejection and should lead to improved patient care. Today, as life expectancy increases, the life expectancy of a transplanted kidney is only about a dozen years on average. It is therefore urgent to better diagnose the signs of rejection in order to better manage them and thus prolong the life of kidney transplants.
The project has clear societal benefits, particularly in addressing the current shortage of organ donation. More and more patients around the world need an organ transplant, but unfortunately the supply is not able to meet this increased demand. That is why this project to predict graft rejection is important, not only on a French scale but also on a global scale.
Research for patients in France and around the world
The KTD-innov project will generate knowledge in kidney transplantation that will be useful for medical professionals in the decades to come. It also has the potential to disrupt the way kidney transplants are treated in the short and long term.
The success of the project favors the financing of other large scale and high potential studies. The consortium has a "significant impact on French scientific reputation in kidney transplantation". It therefore contributes to strengthening the dynamism of research in Bordeaux, and of French research centres in general, in the field of kidney transplantation, thus strengthening their positions as major players in the world.
Interview with Sophie Brouard, research director at the University Hospital of Nantes and co-coordinator of KTD-innov
To elucidate the mechanisms of success or failure of a kidney transplant, KTD-innov collects, centralizes and analyses clinical, biological and immunological data from thousands of kidney transplant patients in France.