This year, multiple LUMC Global PhD projects have been set up to stimulate international research collaborations in important topics within Life Sciences & Health. It is our hope that these international research projects will ultimately benefit global healthcare. It is with this idea in mind that we also welcomed Indonesian nephrologist Ni Made Hustrini as an LUMC Global PhD student. She will try to set important steps in unraveling the underlying causes of chronic kidney disease in Indonesia and in understanding a better way to manage it.
Made has several important roles in Jakarta, Indonesia. She combines clinical work with education and research and works in both the Faculty of Medicine of the Universitas Indonesia and the Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo National Hospital, a top referral national hospital in Indonesia. Her main focus is on clinical work where she specializes in dialysis and kidney transplants, but she also delivers a valuable contribution as a lecturer. Now, by joining the LUMC Global initiative as a PhD student, she will shift her focus from clinical and educational work to research almost entirely.
Her research and the importance of it
And this will hopefully prove to be invaluable, since she will be conducting elaborate research on chronic kidney disease and underlying causes, a topic that has thus far remained underrepresented in research, particularly in Indonesia. “So far, only small studies have been done that have remained inconclusive. Most sample sizes were too small and methodologies were lacking to draw any definitive conclusions. My hope is that my research will hopefully be representative of the Indonesian population or at least serve as a preliminary study for early detection of chronic kidney disease”, says Made.
Because early detection of chronic kidney disease is crucial, not just in Indonesia, but worldwide. “Roughly 10 to 15 percent of the global population suffers from chronic kidney disease. In most cases, the disease will ultimately result in patients needing dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant. That chronic kidney disease develops to this so-called end-stage, is because we have a lack of insight in the causes for chronic kidney disease. Early detection of chronic kidney disease could prove pivotal and prevent patients from needing dialysis or kidney transplants. If we know what causes chronic kidney disease, we could intervene early on to prevent the disease from developing to its end-stage.”
It’s safe to say that Made has her work cut out for her. She will work on collecting and analyzing data from five referral hospitals in Jakarta and compare this data with other Southeast Asian countries. “My aim is to come to a prediction model for Indonesia and develop screening tools for early detection of chronic kidney disease. It’s an ambitious project, but I hope I can come to good and insightful results.”
Coming to the LUMC
During her research project, Made will also come to the LUMC to work more extensively on research on the topic. “In the Netherlands, I will contribute to another research project related to my PhD research. It will be a different project, but with clear correlation with my own project. I expect to compare data gathered from both projects and finetune my own findings.”
Made hopes her project will serve as an important stepping stone in early detection of chronic kidney disease. “I hope my research will inspire change in Indonesia and that I can give our hospitals and government something to consider; that they can see what needs to be improved or to be done in our system for managing chronic kidney disease”, says Made, to which she adds: “I would also like to continue the research on the topic here, that we can implement findings not just in Jakarta, but in other regions of Indonesia or in other countries entirely too.”
All in all, Made is very grateful to have received the opportunity to work on this project. “I’m very happy I’m able to work on this project and I hope this collaboration will enable more Indonesian aspiring researchers to pursue international research projects through LUMC Global.”
The African-European Tuberculosis Consortium (AE-TBC) is an international multisite group of African and European researchers who investigate the use of host biosignatures for the diagnosis of active TB disease. For over ten years, the LUMC groups of Infectious Diseases and Cell & Chemical Biology from Prof Annemieke Geluk and Dr Paul Corstjens respectively, have been partners of the EDCTP consortia for tuberculosis (among which AE-TBC). The AE-TBC recently won the prize for ‘Outstanding Research Team 2020, awarded by the EDCTP.
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