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PHOTO GALLERY University receives biggest ever gift from an individual 27 million

Our University has received its biggest ever single gift from a private individual - £2.7 million- which will be used to fund life-saving kidney research of global significance in our College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology.

The funding, which will support vital research within the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, has been welcomed by the UK IgA Nephropathy Patient Group because of its potential to understand and eventually develop new drugs to treat one of the leading causes of kidney failure - IgA Nephropathy - across the world and to aid a global alliance of researchers to battle it in different populations.

University and patient representatives gathered at the University to showcase their renal research and tour new laboratory facilities with the donor, Mr Jimmy Mayer, and members of his family.

This is the second large gift Mr Mayer has made to further renal research at the University. In 2014, he gave £500,000 to the Leicester research team to fund the IgA Nephropathy research programme.

The funding will create dedicated research facilities - The Mayer IgA Nephropathy Laboratories - as well as a named Professorship - the Mayer Chair in Renal Medicine – at the University.

The vital funding will support the work of a research group at the University led by Professor Jonathan Barratt of the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University. He is also an Honorary Consultant Nephrologist in the John Walls Renal Unit, Leicester General Hospital. Professor Barratt will hold the title of the Mayer Chair in Renal Medicine.

The researchers aim to further understand mechanisms that lead to the development and progression of IgA Nephropathy and to establish the world’s first international registry of IgA Nephropathy patients.

  • IgA Nephropathy is a condition in which an individual’s own antibodies, which are produced naturally to fight infections, settle in the kidneys and damage them by causing inflammation and scarring. Patients often do not display symptoms. As a result, most affected people are unaware they have the condition until they have a blood or urine test. The causes are not fully known and, in extreme cases, the condition can cause kidney failure.
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