Honouring excellence with national research award

Dr. David Rush’s dedication to his patients and to the field of transplantation has meant the world to families living with renal failure.

His leading-edge research has greatly improved outcomes for renal transplant patients giving people the ability to live life to the fullest, and for his outstanding contribution to kidney disease research, he has been awarded the 2015 Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence.

A Professor, Dept. of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, as well as Medical Director of Transplant Manitoba – Adult Renal Transplant Program, Dr. Rush’s work has been instrumental in moving the renal transplantation field forward.

“The Kidney Foundation of Canada is committed to supporting excellent renal research in Canada and we celebrate this annually through the Medal for Research Excellence,” according to Elisabeth Fowler, National Director of Research for the Foundation. “Dr. Rush joins an esteemed group of researchers who have received the medal since 1996, and who have been recognized both nationally and internationally for excellence in kidney research. Through their dedication to finding improved methods of diagnosis, treatment and prevention, researchers’ contributions have a tangible and positive impact in the lives of those affected by kidney disease.”

Dr. Rush’s pioneering work in the use of surveillance biopsies in transplantation made him the first to report the high prevalence of subclinical rejection in renal transplant recipients. With this research, he has changed the understanding of the link between early chronic pathologic changes and long-term graft survival. Dr. Rush’s seminal work in this field has lowered the threshold for the diagnosis of rejection and had an impact on the design of clinical trials evaluating of immunosuppression protocols for renal transplant patients. His work in translational medicine has also directly led to the improvement in renal allograft survival and patient care in the Transplant Manitoba – Adult Renal Transplant Program, where over 1,000 transplants have been performed to date. The international profile of his research program has led to changes in clinical practice in many transplant programs worldwide.

Additionally, he has been a dedicated counselor to a new generation of researchers, helping them develop as independent, internationally-known investigators.