Projects / Programmes source: ARIS


Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.06.00  Medical sciences  Cardiovascular system   
3.07.00  Medical sciences  Metabolic and hormonal disorders   

Code Science Field
B530  Biomedical sciences  Cardiovascular system 

Code Science Field
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease, dialysis, plasma exchange, kidney transplantation, Doppler-ultrasonography, mesenchimal stem cells, biomarkers, proteinuria, glomerular filtration rate, anticoagulation, citrate, vascular access, nutrition, immunosuppression, pharmacogenomics
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (22)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  21624  PhD Miha Arnol  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  465 
2.  39161  PhD Špela Bogataj  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  81 
3.  10649  PhD Jadranka Buturović-Ponikvar  Cardiovascular system  Head  2017 - 2021  1,007 
4.  24053  PhD Jakob Gubenšek  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  338 
5.  01977  PhD Aljoša Kandus  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017  553 
6.  38290  Anita Klun    Technical associate  2017 - 2021 
7.  06393  PhD Bojan Knap  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  366 
8.  12026  PhD Damjan Kovač  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  420 
9.  55832  Katja Kurnik Mesarič  Cardiovascular system  Junior researcher  2021  11 
10.  07764  PhD Jelka Lindič  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  432 
11.  06203  PhD Marko Malovrh  Cardiovascular system  Retired researcher  2017 - 2021  353 
12.  23174  Rada Marinković    Technical associate  2017 - 2021 
13.  14581  PhD Andreja Marn Pernat  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  267 
14.  30496  Vanja Meglen    Technical associate  2017 - 2021 
15.  19576  PhD Gregor Mlinšek  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  173 
16.  23258  PhD Jernej Pajek  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  349 
17.  28515  PhD Vanja Peršič  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2020 - 2021  104 
18.  01987  PhD Rafael Ponikvar  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  786 
19.  51883  Ivana Sedej  Cardiovascular system  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  18 
20.  37802  PhD Andrej Škoberne  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  180 
21.  37833  PhD Željka Večerić Haler  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2017 - 2021  194 
22.  36616  Jasmina Žunić    Technical associate  2017 - 2021 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0312  University Medical Centre Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5057272000  77,903 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) represent an international public health problem affecting 5–10% of the population. Our basic and clinical science research will be focused on: Stem cell transplantation for kidney injury repair in a mouse model: Our goals are to determine (a) efficacy and safety of in-situ vs. intraarterial mesenchimal stem cells (MSC) transplantation to restitute function and morphology in toxic kidney injury, and (b) the role of MSC in achieving immune tolerance in chronic rejection. Biomarkers for progression of CKD: (a) Proteinuria in CKD: Our objective is to find out which urine sample is the most appropriate for determining proteinuria and to evaluate the prognostic value of different types of proteinuria on outcome in patients with CKD. (b) Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in primary nephrotic syndrome: The aim is to determine the link between measured GFR with Cr-EDTA clearance, laboratory parameters and pathohistological findings. Improving outcomes in CKD and ESRD patients: (a) We will continue to focus on citrate use as anticoagulant in extracorporeal hemodialysis procedures aiming to improve safety of citrate anticoagulation and biocompatibility of the extracorporeal circuit. In a randomized study, we will try to assess optimal citrate concentration for the catheter locking solution (4% vs. 30%). (b) Vascular access: In patients with arteriovenous fistula aneurysms, we will explore clinical problems (i.e., high blood flow, rupture risk) and different therapy options (surveillance, aneurysmorrhaphy, or removal). (c) Plasma exchange (PE): We will investigate the effects of PE with citrate anticoagulation on activation or suppression of inflammatory markers, complement components and coagulation factors. In a randomized study, we will explore the role of PE in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemic pancreatitis. (d) Improving nutritional status of CKD and ESRD patients: We will perform an interventional trial testing the hypothesis that plant-based low-fat diet improves the serum cardiovascular risk factors and halts the progression of CKD. In ESRD patients, novel nutritional markers (i.e., over-hydration index, fat tissue index, lean tissue index) will be compared with routine biochemical blood parameters. Personalized immunosuppression after kidney transplantation: (a) In a prospective study, we will investigate the association of tacrolimus extended release-based immunosuppression and early steroid withdrawal with clinical, ultrasonography, immunologic, and pathohistological biomarkers of insufficient or excess immunosuppression. (b) In a pharmacogenomics study, we will determine allelic variants of the cytochrome genes (CYP3A4, CYP3A5) in our kidney transplant recipients and look for the correlations between allelic variants and daily dosages of immunosupressants. (c) Pre-implantation biopsy study will correlate baseline allograft injury with immunosuppression and kidney allograft function.
Significance for science
The research programme proposal is integration of a series of studies leaded by the experienced and young reasearches of the Department of Nephrology, University Medical Center Ljubljana. Research focus would be acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and patients treated by renal replacement therapy (dialysis and kidney transplantation). New element of future research would be addition of experimental research with stem cells on mouse model (Željka Večerić Haler et al. Improved protective effect of umbilical cord stem cell transplantation on cisplatin-induced kidney injury in mice pretreated ba antithymocyte globulin. Stem Cells Int 2016,doi: 10.1155/2016/3585362. Epub 2016 Jan 5.). The study was recently published, the doctoral thesis of the first and leading author, employed at the Department of Nephrology, is in the final phase of evaluation. Focus of the research in the next period would be kidney diseases and replacement therapies - dialysis and kidney transplantation, treatment of complications and subsequent expected improvement of kidney patients survival and quality of life. Research group had a significant numbed of high quality SCI publications in the past. Based on programme proposal and expected involvement of new young nephrologists after completing PhD programme in the next programme funding period we expect significant contribution from our programme to the science of nephrology, dialysis and transplantation in the future.
Significance for the country
Slovenian model of renal replacement therapy (dialysis and kidney transplantation) could be promoted as "a model to follow" in many organizational approaches and treatment outcomes. Intensive research in the field of chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury and associated comorbidities contributes to the quality improvement in this important part of global health care. Better treatment outcomes are usually associated with cost reduction. The importance of chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury and renal replacement therapy is illustrated by the World Kidney Day, instituted by the World Health Organization, aiming to increase professional and public awareness on the importance of kidney disease and renal replacement therapy.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2017, 2018, 2019
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2017, 2018, 2019
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