Centre for Inflammation Research

Professor David Ferenbach

David Ferenbach’s group is focussed on understanding the impact of senescence on the ageing and injured kidney - and how signalling from senescent cells contribute to multi-organ fibrosis, dysfunction and multi-morbidity.

Professor David Ferenbach

MRC Senior Clinical Fellow and Professor of Regenerative Nephrology

  • Centre for Inflammation Research

Contact details

Group Members

Alphabetical order:

  • David Baird - MRC Clinical Research Fellow
  • Ross Campbell - PhD Student
  • Marie-Helena Docherty - MRC Clinical Training Fellow
  • Maximillian Reck – PhD Student (co-supervisor)
  • Ewa Zajdel - Research Assistant

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.

Visit CIR’s Research page

Biographical Profile

I graduated in Medicine from Edinburgh University with an intercalated honours degree in Pathology.  After HO posts in Edinburgh and SHO/SHO3 posts in the Glasgow Royal and Western Infirmaries I returned to Edinburgh in 2003 as a Specialist Registrar in Nephrology.

I undertook my PhD under the supervision of Professors Hughes and Kluth, examining the role of the macrophage in acute kidney injury. 

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, working in Harvard Medical School, MA, USA and the Centre for Inflammation Research in Edinburgh.  During this period my research became focused on dissecting and understanding the contribution of epithelial senescence to renal regeneration and fibrosis in health, disease and ageing.  

In 2022 I was awarded an MRC Senior Clinical Fellowship to examine senescent cell signalling pathways using the latest advances in spatial transcriptomic technology.

Honours and Awards

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

Other Responsibilities

Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary


  • Professor Joseph Bonventre, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • Dr Tamir Chandra, IGC
  • Dr Bryan Conway, CVS
  • Dr Laura Denby, CVS
  • Dr Sofia Ferreira-Gonzalez, CRM
  • Professor Stuart Forbes, CRM
  • Professor Neil Henderson
  • Professor Jeremy Hughes, CIR
  • Dr Kristina Kirschner, University of Glasgow
  • Mr Alex Laird and Mr Steve Leung, Dept of Urology, WGH
  • Dr Katie Mylonas, CIR


Sources of Funding

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

  • Medical Research Council UK
  • Kidney Research UK
  • Argenx