• Matthew Lanktree, MD, PhD

    2023 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant
    Matthew Lanktree, MD, PhD

    Matthew Lanktree, MD, PhD

    2023 Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant

    Institution: McMaster University

    Project Title: Multi-omics in PEXIVAS: Using Precision Medicine to Improve Risk Stratification in ANCA Vasculitis

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    We are using genetic and protein biomarkers to help predict if a patient with antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) vasculitis is likely to benefit or be harmed by specific treatments.

    Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.

    We will measure over a thousand protein biomarkers and genome-wide genetics in participants of the Plasma Exchange and Glucocorticoids in Severe ANCA-Associated Vasculitis (PEXIVAS) trial that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Overall, PEXIVAS showed there was no overall benefit of a procedure called plasma exchange or "PLEX" in patients with ANCA vasculitis. However, a decrease in the number of patients with kidney failure was balanced by an increased risk of death resulting in the neutral result. We wondered if precision medicine could identify patients who are more likely to benefit from PLEX. 

    What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    Kidney failure is catastrophic. We have a treatment that appears to reduce the risk of kidney failure for patients with ANCA vasculitis, but it comes with an increased risk of infection and death. Selecting the right patient for each treatment may improve the outcome. 

    What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?

    I hope to advance the integration of precision medicine, targeting treatments for each patient's issues, to promote kidney health! 

    What has surprised you most about your career?

    Already I have been lucky to supervise and work with inspirational young scientists. 

    What are the major challenges facing nephrology research today?

    Most treatments for kidney disease act by improving metabolic health or reducing autoimmune responses. I think we need to develop treatments that directly prevent damage to kidney cells and the scarring and fibrosis that results from those injuries and start these treatments before the proverbial "horse is out of the barn". A deep chasm exists between genetic associations or model systems and treatments that impact patient-important outcomes. We need to close that gap.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I sang in a glee club before it was cool to sing in a glee club. 

    In my free time I like to…

    Chase tennis and golf balls.

    Follow on Twitter: @MattLanktree