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Live United '09 - Nebraska Kidney Association supports research, patients

picture disc.Each year, Pascale Lane, M.D., releases her inner Martha Stewart and serves as decorations chairwoman for the Nebraska Kidney Association's annual Kidney Cruise.

One year, she created sombrero centerpieces; another year, it was themed miniature balloons.

"If I take money for my research, I should be willing to help groups raise it," Dr. Lane said of her volunteer work with the group.

A professor and researcher in UNMC's Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Lane values the role played by the Nebraska Kidney Association to patients, as well as researchers.

"As National Institutes of Health funding has tightened up, organizations such as the Nebraska Kidney Association play an important role in the research lab," she said. "Often, they are the only source of funding for new investigators or for those whose ideas aren't quite ready for prime time."

In the past 11 years, Dr. Lane has received several Nebraska Kidney Association grants to help propel her research.

"They currently fund a promising project in my lab," she said. "Thanks to their support, I have a good chunk of data I need to justify larger studies."

Dr. Lane's research examines the reasons puberty unmasks or accelerates kidney diseases, especially diabetes.

"The Nebraska Kidney Association provides important outreach and screenings for kidney disease to populations across the state, including minorities who are at greater risk," said Dr. Lane, who serves on the association's scientific advisory board.

Beyond research, the local non-profit also:

  • Provides patient information and awareness education;
  • Conducts free early disease detection screenings; and
  • Offers services to kidney and transplant patients and their families.

In all, 275,000 Nebraskans either have, or are at risk of, developing kidney disease. Each year, 400 more are diagnosed and 1,400 currently undergo dialysis.

"Donations to the Nebraska Kidney Association create educational tools that help Nebraskans learn the warning signs of kidney disease and prolong or avoid the onset of chronic kidney disease," Dr. Lane said.

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