"Millions of people in America suffer from chronic kidney disease, but with the establishment of this center, those patients now have an extra champion in the fight," said Puliafito. "We are proud to be the home of this new center, and are grateful for the leadership of Dr. Campese, Dr. Edward Crandall, the chair of our Department of Medicine, and the support from UKRO that helped make establishing the center possible."
An estimated 26 million people in the United States alone are believed to suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD) and millions of others are at increased risk, according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). Approximately 8 percent of the 2011 Medicare budget of $759 billion, or $57 billion, was spent on treating kidney disease, and Medicaid programs across America are expending an additional $1.6 to $2.0 billion per year.
"This day marks an important step towards making kidney research a national priority," said Kenneth Kleinberg, founder, UKRO. "If we are to lift the scourge of kidney disease and the staggering financial burdens it imposes, the answers lie in research. I am alive today as a beneficiary of research which made dialysis and kidney transplantation modes of treatment available on a mass scale, and I hope to see the day when the incidence of kidney diseases diminishes to insignificance, as a result of cutting-edge research done at the KRC and other renal research laboratories."
Kleinberg thanked Dean Puliafito and the faculty and staff of the Keck School of Medicine, especially Crandall and Campese for their vision and dedication to the establishment of the KRC, as well as members of UKRO's board of directors and medical and scientific advisors for their role in establishing the new center.