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Donated kidneys grant-study focus

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A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences researcher received a $2.46 million grant for a study related to kidneys that come from an organ donor who died.

Nirmala Parajuli, an assistant professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, received the award for a five-year project, according to an announcement last week. Funding came from the National Institutes of Health.

Parajuli’s work will look at a drug that could reduce damage to donated kidneys during cold storage.

The hope is to improve long-term results for patients who get the kidneys. While most transplanted kidneys come from deceased donors, the outcomes for those organs generally aren’t as good.

“There are about 100,000 patients waiting for kidney transplants, and many of them will die while they are waiting,” Parajuli said in a statement.

“My goal is to reduce the kidney injury caused by cold storage and increase the pool of healthy kidneys available to the people who need them.”

Arkansas has one of the nation’s highest rates of chronic kidney disease, for which a transplant is the best treatment, according to public health experts.

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