Matthew Lanktree

PHRI Investigator Matthew Lanktree has been awarded the 2023 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant from KidneyCure / American Society of Nephrology (ASN) for his work using genetic and protein biomarkers to help predict if a patient with antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) vasculitis is likely to benefit or be harmed by specific treatments.

Lanktree, a specialist in adult nephrology genetics, works closely with the CRLB-GMEL laboratory led by PHRI Senior Scientist Guillaume Pare, and within the renal research team at PHRI.

He is an Assistant Professor in the departments of medicine and health research methods, evidence and impact at McMaster University. He has published more than 60 articles in high-impact journals in genetics and medicine, and has set his goal to translate genetic studies into improved care of patients with kidney disease.

The 2023 ASN grant applies to Lanktree’s work in multi-omics – specifically measuring 1000+ protein biomarkers and genome-wide genetics in participants of the Plasma Exchange and Glucocorticoids in Severe ANCA-Associated Vasculitis (PEXIVAS) trial (published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2020; first author, PHRI Scientist Mike Walsh).

Multi-omics is a biological analysis approach in which the data sets are multiple “omes” – such as genomes (DNA), proteomes (proteins), transcriptomes (RNA), etc. The genetics and molecular epidemiology team at PHRI provides a broad range of genomic and proteomic solutions; they can analyze 3,000+ proteins per sample on its proteomics platform, for example.

After the PEXIVAS trial was conducted, says Lanktree, “we wondered if precision medicine could identify patients who are more likely to benefit from plasma exchange.”

In his interview with KidneyCure (read here) Lanktree noted, in part:

Most treatments for kidney disease act by improving metabolic health or reducing autoimmune responses. I think we need to develop treatments that directly prevent damage to kidney cells and the scarring and fibrosis that results from those injuries and start these treatments before the proverbial “horse is out of the barn”.

A deep chasm exists between genetic associations or model systems and treatments that impact patient-important outcomes. We need to close that gap.

Matt Lanktree (centre) chats with his fellow genetics researchers Marie Pigeyre, Sukrit Narula and Michael Chong, at PHRI retreat, June 2023.


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