Richard Kitching

Autoimmune Kidney Disease and Vasculitis Research Group

Professor A Richard Kitching is a nephrologist physician-scientist in the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases within the Department of Medicine. He heads a group working in defining how the immune system injures the kidney.

His research focuses on understanding the involvement of leukocytes (white blood cells) in glomerulonephritis, an important cause of kidney disease, so that more targeted and effective treatments can be developed and used. Professor Kitching combines his research with clinical practice in Nephrology. This clinical practice helps define important questions in the causes of immune kidney disease and how they can be better treated. His research program has established the role of pathogenic and protective cellular immunity in rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis.

The causes of severe rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, important conditions that result in end stage kidney disease, are unclear. These diseases are usually due to autoimmune vasculitis, but unfortunately, current treatments are toxic and ineffective. Medications that are the current standard of care have significant toxic effects – and without a better understanding of how disease occurs, it will be difficult to develop new treatments. To use more specific biological and cellular therapies, we need to understand the critical steps in how the disease develops.

Professor Kitching's research is funded by NHMRC Project Grants, an NHMRC grant within a European Union Horizon 20/20 Consortium and an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence. His publications include papers in Nature, Nature Medicine, PNAS, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, Nature Communications, Blood, The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Kidney International.

He heads the Monash Health Vasculitis Clinic and is Co-Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology Research Advisory Committee. In 2018 he and colleagues established the ANZ Vasculitis Society (ANZVASC) to improve clinical care and education in vasculitis, and to assist in translating research discoveries into clinical practice.

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