WKRU (Wales Kidney Research Unit/Uned Ymchwil Arennol Cymru) is funded by Health and Care Research Wales and aims to deliver an All-Wales strategy for the study of diagnosis, prevention, treatment and social context of kidney disease. The modus operandi provides core infrastructure enabling researchers, clinical staff, patients, families and carers to work together, to answer important health and social care research questions, and to develop state-of-the-art services that benefit population needs. WKRU will enable these stakeholders to make competitive funding bids and to collaborate with industry, bringing investment into Wales to improve the health and wealth of the population.
An important principle for WKRU is that research infrastructure has a major contribution to make to prudent healthcare, by generating and communicating the evidence needed by clinicians and patients to make smart and effective choices about tests and treatments. WKRU uses excellence in basic science to test existing clinical approaches and to underpin discovery, design and pre-clinical development of prototype diagnostics and therapies. It works with academic institutions, NISCHR (now Health and Care Research Wales) Trials Units and NHS Research and Design and Conduct services to support clinical trials, health technology assessment and health and social care services research.
WKRU is built on internationally recognised research undertaken by investigators across Wales, in areas in which AWKRN (All Wales Kidney Research Network, funded by NISCHR) has brought successes in grant funding, industrial cooperation, and dissemination. WKRU supports the necessary infrastructure to bridge the current gaps in clinical translation. WKRU connects expertise in each step of the translational pathway, from fundamental disease mechanisms and better diagnosis to improved implementation and health outcomes. This expertise connects to the core of WKRU, which is explicitly designed to include patients, families and carers, service providers and service commissioners, as well as researchers.