Developing Vitamin D Therapies to Block Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is a growing problem in Canada and worldwide and is associated with obesity, diabetes and vascular disease. Current therapies only treat symptoms of CKD and have no impact on inflammatory and fibrotic process that underlie the progression of the disease toward hemodialysis, kidney transplantation, or death. OPKO Canada (Markham, Ontario) is developing new therapies to slow or block progression of kidney disease which target vitamin D signalling pathways – one approach that blocks vitamin D breakdown and another approach that significantly and directly raises vitamin D levels in kidney. The interns for this MITACS funded program will work in the Petkovich laboratory and at the OPKO Canada facilities in Markham. By working with key individuals associated with product development, analytical chemistry, project management and regulatory affairs, interns will gain invaluable knowledge for performing the appropriate animal studies and assembling the appropriate documents for submission of IND application to the FDA to gain approval for evaluating these therapies in clinical studies. These efforts will benefit the health of Canadians and provide interns with extensive experience in drug development.

Faculty Supervisor:

Michael Adams


Tracie Pennimpede


OPKO Health - OPKO Renal Division


Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Life sciences


Queen's University



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