Centre for Inflammation Research

Dr David Ferenbach

David Ferenbach's research focuses on understanding the impact of ageing on the ability of the kidney to repair and regenerate from acute and chronic insults.

Dr David Ferenbach

Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellow

  • Centre for Inflammation Research

Contact details

Group Members

Alphabetical order:

  • David Baird - NHS Research Fellow
  • Cyril Carvalho - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Ross Campbell - PhD Student
  • Marie-Helena Docherty - MRC Clinical Training Fellow
  • Philip Emanuel - PhD student
  • Eoin O'Sullivan - PhD student
  • Leilin Yu - MSc in Medical Science student

Research Overview

Acute kidney injury (AKI) predominantly affects the elderly and is increasing in incidence. It complicates over 7% of hospital admissions and carries a high risk of morbidity and mortality. I have previously demonstrated that this aging associated susceptibility is also present in a mouse model of AKI and can be modified via therapies targeting the innate immune system.

There is also an increasing recognition that the elderly survivors of AKI often do not achieve the complete renal recovery classically reported in the young, instead going on to develop chronic kidney disease with its associated sequelae. Importantly, no specific treatments exist to promote recovery, and there is an unmet need for therapies to promote early and complete resolution of renal injury.

The processes underlying these altered reparative responses seen in the elderly remain poorly understood, and would be of potential wider relevance to other pathologies associated with aging such as myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke. Dissecting the key cell types and phenotypic changes associated with response of the aging kidney to AKI should permit the rational design of novel therapies.

“The following PDF provides a brief visual summary of this group’s current research.


You can view a full catalogue of graphical research summaries for each group in the Centre for Inflammation Research by visiting our Research page.

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Biographical Profile

I graduated in Medicine from Edinburgh University with an intercalated honours degree in Pathology.  After house jobs in Edinburgh I moved to Glasgow as a senior house officer on the Royal Infirmary medical rotation.  After a spell as the SHO3 in Renal Medicine at the Glasgow Royal and Western Infirmaries I returned to Edinburgh as a Specialist Registrar in Nephrology.

I undertook my PhD under the supervision of Professor Jeremy Hughes and Dr David Kluth, examining the role of the macrophage in acute kidney injury.  During this time I developed an interest in the altered responses of the aged kidney to insults, and the potential for this to impact on the development of chronic kidney disease.  Following completion of my PhD I was appointed as the Lecturer in Nephrology at Edinburgh University, and in 2013 was awarded an intermediate clinical fellowship from the Wellcome Trust examining mechanisms underlying the altered susceptibility of the aged kidney to renal insults, and their potential to be used as novel therapeutic interventions.  Having spent time in Boston, MA learning new experimental techniques I now work in the CIR. 

  • 2005-2008: Clinical Training Fellowship (Kidney Research UK), PhD
  • 2008-2009: Research Fellowship from Medical Research Scotland
  • 2011-2013: Clinical Lecturer in Nephrology, Edinburgh University
  • 2013-present: Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship, Boston, USA and Edinburgh UK

Honours and Awards

  • 2012 Lockwood Award from the UK Renal Association
  • 2012 Walls Bursary from the Renal Association
  • 2008 Sir James Black Prize from the Scottish Society for Experimental Medicine 

Other Responsibilities

Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary


  • Professor Joseph Bonventre, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
  • Professor Amy Wagers, Joslin Diabetes Center & Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Dr Katie Mylonas - Chief Scientist Office/Kidney Research UK Fellow

Sources of Funding

Information on funding at David Ferenbach's Research Explorer profile.