CGNR is a coast-to-coast initiative with investigators at nine institutions across Canada.


View map of research sites

Site Principal Investigator
University of British Columbia – Vancouver General Hospital Sean Barbour
University of Calgary – Foothills Hospital Daniel Muruve
University of Alberta Ainslie Hildebrand
University Health Network – Toronto General Hospital Heather Reich
Sunnybrook Hospital Michelle Hladunewich
University of Ottawa – The Ottawa Hospital Todd Fairhead
McGill University Health Centre – Montreal General Hospital Ratna Samanta
Tomoko Takano
University of Laval – Hotel-Dieu de Quebec Sascha DeSerres
Dalhousie University – QEII Health Sciences Centre Penelope Poyah

Investigator bios


Dr. Heather Reich

Principal Investigator
University Health Network – Toronto General Hospital

Dr. Reich is a graduate of McGill University Faculty of Medicine. She completed her post-graduate clinical training and PhD at University of Toronto where she is an Associate Professor and holds the Gabor Zellerman Chair in Nephrology Research. She works as a nephrologist-scientist at the University Health Network and is passionate about improving the clinical care and outcomes of patients with glomerulonephritis.

Dr. Reich’s research objective is to identify clinical and molecular markers of progressive glomerular diseases, and she is scientific director of the Toronto GN Registry. Her translational research program focuses on the study of human biologic samples to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for progression of kidney disease towards kidney failure. This molecular work is complemented by studies to identify clinical risk factors for disease progression in glomerulonephritis. She enjoys teaching and is the co-director of the annual educational pre-course in glomerulonephritis for ASN.


Dr. Daniel Cattran

University of Toronto

Dr. Cattran is a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School. He did postgraduate training both in Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia.  He is currently a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute.  His administrative roles have included Chairman of the Royal College of Canada specialty program in nephrology, and director of the PGE program in nephrology at the University of Toronto.  He was cochairman of the KDIGO working group that developed the published guideline for glomerulonephritis management.

Dr. Cattran’s major research work has been in field of glomerulonephritis. He was the principal organizer and remains the Chair of the Toronto Glomerulonephritis Registry, which currently includes over 12,000 cases of biopsy proven GN.  He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers and more than 30 book chapters related in large part to glomerulonephritis.

He remains actively involved in clinical research and is currently a member of the executive of the  NIH sponsored North American wide project  on nephrotic syndrome (Neptune Consortium), member of the steering committee of the newly funded international CureGN Consortium project,  co PI of the MENTOR project a randomized controlled trial examining cyclosporine versus rituximab in membranous nephropathy. He is a co PI’s of Canadian Institutes of Health Research sponsoring the Canadian component of the global RCT of steroids versus placebo in IGA. Amongst his awards, the Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence and the Distinguish International Scientist award from the US National Kidney Foundation in recognition of his contributions to nephrology.  Most recently he was awarded the Eaton Scholar Researcher of the Year (2017) from the University of Toronto in recognition of sustained excellence as a scientist and role model over several years. May, 2017


Dr. Michelle Hladunewich

Sunnybrook Hospital

Dr. Hladunewich is a graduate of the University of Alberta. She completed her postgraduate training both in the University of Toronto, Canada and in Stanford University in California, United Stated. She is currently the director of the division of nephrology and the division of obstetrical medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, an Associate Scientist of Sunnybrook Research Institute, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Hladunewich is interested in glomerular-based disease, and is conducting several clinical trials in the field. She is also interested in the renal physiology of normal and abnormal pregnancy. Her primary research focus has been the long-term sequelae of preeclampsia including differences in the renin angiotensin system and endothelial function. She has developed specialty clinics in kidney disease, pregnancy and a glomerular-based disease to align with her research interests. She is chair board member of CureGN Study Network and Neptune Study Network both sponsored by the National Institutes for Health (NIH), an executive committee member of the TESTING trial a randomized controlled study evaluating low doses of steroids to reduce renal outcomes in IgA nephropathy.

She was recently awarded with the Human Touch Award from the Ontario Renal Network recognizing her compassionate patient care and outstanding contributions to renal care in Ontario.


Dr. Sean Barbour

University of British Columbia – Vancouver General Hospital

Dr. Barbour completed his internal medicine and nephrology training at the University of British Columbia in 2010.  He subsequently did a two-year glomerulonephritis fellowship and Master of Science in clinical epidemiology at the University of Toronto.  As of July 2013, he is an Assistant Professor with the UBC Division of Nephrology, with a clinical and research focus on glomerular diseases.  He is the Medical Lead of the BC Provincial Renal Agency BC Glomerulonephritis Network and Registry, and Chair of the BC Glomerulonephritis Network Steering Committee. Through these positions, he is responsible for health policy and health services related to glomerular diseases in BC.

Dr. Barbour’s research focus is on clinical trials, health outcomes and health services delivery in glomerulonephritis, and using prediction modeling techniques to improve risk stratification in glomerular diseases.  He holds multiple peer-reviewed grants, including from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Dr. Daniel Muruve

University of Calgary – Foothills Hospital

Dr. Daniel Muruve is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Dr. Muruve’s research expertise is in the areas of innate immunity, inflammation and kidney disease. Currently, his research program examines the role of the innate immune system, with a specific focus on the NLR (Nod-like receptor) family of proteins and inflammasomes in the biology of diseases, including acute and chronic kidney disease. The cellular and molecular biology of the renal epithelium, the role of inflammation and the immune system in renal injury and fibrosis are significant interests in the laboratory. Dr. Muruve has also led the establishment of a precision medicine and translational research program in kidney and glomerular diseases. Dr. Muruve is the Director of the Biobank for the Molecular Classification of Kidney Disease that provides a direct link to clinical patient samples as well as a clinicopathologic database to enable translational research in biomarkers, molecular epidemiology and genetics in kidney disease.

Dr. Muruve graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba in 1989 and has undertaken extensive post-graduate medical and scientific training over 10 years at the University of Calgary, Harvard University and the University of Lausanne. He is an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Clinical Senior Scholar and holds a Canada Research Chair in Inflammation, Personalized Medicine and Kidney Disease. He has generated over 80 peer-reviewed publications in world-class journals and has secured over $10-million in research funding during his tenure at the University of Calgary. In his spare time Dr. Muruve enjoys playing guitar and cycling.


Dr. Ainslie Hildebrand

University of Alberta

Dr. Hildebrand is a nephrologist and Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Alberta. She completed her Nephrology Fellowship and Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University followed by additional training in Glomerulonephritis and Renal Diseases of Pregnancy at the University of Toronto. Her research interests are in clinical outcomes of immunologic renal disease (including glomerulonephritis and thrombotic microangiopathy) and strategies to optimize care of patients with these conditions. Her current research on long-term vascular outcomes of thrombotic microangiopathy is supported by the Kidney Foundation of Canada.


Dr. Tomoko Takano

McGill University Health Centre – Montreal General Hospital

Tomoko Takano is a Professor of Medicine at McGill University, staff adult nephrologist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and senior scientist at the MUHC Research Institute. Dr. Takano received her M.D. from University of Tokyo, and completed residency in Internal Medicine and Nephrology at University of Tokyo. Following the clinical training in Nephrology, she obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at University of Tokyo and completed post-doctoral training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and also obtained permit to practice as a nephrologist in Quebec. She holds an independent laboratory at McGill University since 1998.

Dr. Takano’s research focuses on glomerular podocyte biology and pathogenesis of proteinuria. Clinically, she contributes to the Chronic Kidney Disease Centre and the Glomerulonephritis Clinic. She is a founder and co-Director of the MUHC Kidney Disease Biorepository and the Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Canadian Society of Nephrology. She has been a member of various scientific committees including the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Kidney Foundation of Canada and currently, is a member of the Organizing and Scientific Committees of the International Podocyte Conference in 2018.


Dr. Ratna Samanta

McGill University Health Centre – Montreal General Hospital

Dr. Ratna Samanta is an Assistant Professor at McGill University, and a staff adult nephrologist at the McGill University Health Center (MUHC), and the Site Clerkship Director for the Internal Medicine program.  She obtained her M.D.C.M. from McGill University then completed her residency in General Internal Medicine and Nephrology at the University of Alberta. During her fellowship, Dr. Samanta wrote treatment protocols for various glomerular diseases as a Quality Assurance project for the Northern Renal Alberta Program. She subsequently completed a Masters of Science in Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. During her time at Yale, Dr. Samanta was a member of the Human Investigational Committee, as part of the Yale Institutional Board Review. She then traveled back up north to complete her training with a clinical fellowship in Glomerulonephritis at the University of Toronto, where she focused on the diagnosis and therapies in patients with glomerulonephritis.  Since starting at the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) last year, Dr. Samanta has initiated a specialized clinic focusing on patients with glomerular disease, with the aims to link basic laboratory research with clinical diagnostics and therapeutic approaches.


Dr. Penelope Poyah

Dalhousie University – QEII Health Sciences Centre

Dr. Penelope Poyah graduated from the University of British Columbia Medical School.  She did her post-graduate training at Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary.  She is assistant professor of medicine, co-chair of the continuous renal replacement therapies program and working group at the QEII Health Sciences Centre (Central Zone, Nova Scotia Health Authority), and medical director of the NSHA Central Zone Renal Clinic.  She is medical lead of the NSHA Provincial Renal Program CKD Strategic Planning Committee.  She also serves as director of postgraduate education in the Division of Nephrology. Her teaching efforts were recognized by an award for excellence in teaching from the Department of Medicine. Dr. Poyah has a keen interest in chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis, and acute kidney injury, with a special interest in acute dialysis modalities in critically ill patients. She was instrumental in the successful introduction of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.  More recently she has developed a specialty clinic for patients with ADPKD.