International Committee arrow_drop_down


Chair: Professor Alan Salama

The Renal Association International Committee was formed in 2004, by Meguid El-Nahas and others, with the main goal of encouraging RA members to contribute to developing kidney services, infrastructure, and expertise in medium and low income countries through education, training, mentorship and research. We work in close partnership with the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) to further these aims.

Some might say, “Well, its difficult, time-consuming, and the end-product is not guaranteed”. The best riposte to that is to let Magdi Yaqoob (from Bart’s and the London) reply:

“The main reason I do it is as moral obligation to provide education and training opportunities to young nephrology trainees in the developing world. At a personal level and also on behalf of my colleagues this is one of the main sources of job satisfaction as when these bright, extremely enthusiastic and motivated individuals return back to their own countries there to implement evidence based clinical practice in their own units. Obviously the main problem is to get them GMC registration and honorary contract at my hospital. However, the RCP sponsored schemes help and I have local Trust support which can help make the local logistics easier. Overseas trainees work extremely hard and can bring new innovative ideas”.

Specific Aims of the International Committee

  • Raise the international profile of UK renal units and renal teams as teachers, trainers, educators and mentors in the developing countries – we already punch well “above our weight” but can aspire to do even more.
  • Attract more overseas trainees to train in the UK, and also give our trainees (and established consultants) opportunities to make a valuable contribution by going abroad.
  • To “make a real difference” (in both directions) by generating more dynamic and creative links between UK renal units and those in the developing countries.

International Committee Membership (from 2013)

  • Professor Alan Salama (Chair 2019 – )
  • Aimun Ahmed
  • Debasish Banerjee
  • Indranil Dasgupta
  • Ibi Erekosima
  • Laurie Tomlinson
  • Dearbhla Kelly
  • Gavin Dreyer
  • Turner Neil
  • Mordi Muorah

Past Chairs

  • Professor Iain MacPhee (2017 – 2019)
  • Professor David Goldsmith (2013-2017)
  • Professor Albert Ong (2009-2013)
  • Dr Dwomoa Adu (2007-2009)
  • Professor Meguid El Nahas (2004-2007)

ISN Fellowship Program – Advice for Applicants and Hosts in the UK

Indranil Dasgupta and John Feehally have produced a superb guide to hosting overseas visitors and fellows – Please click here to view the PDF, I would urge everyone with an interest in fostering these overseas links to read this, and use it where needed.

ISN and UK RA International Committee initiative

The ISN is now offering free ISN membership to all trainees under the age of 37. This is a generous offer, and comes with no strings attached. The ISN of course is responsible for Kidney International (so access to the journal will be available through the ISN Membership) as well as discounted registration for future ISN conferences. It would be good to see a full house UK trainee turnout if we can.

Please see (from the ISN webpages):

Member in Training (FREE)

Trainees in nephrology are encouraged to apply for ISN Member in Training. Members receive all member benefits except print copies of Kidney International. All other benefits apply. Eligible individuals must submit an online application.

Advisors/Instructors/Professors/Supervisors of trainees in nephrology wishing to apply for In-Training Membership for their trainees can submit their applications using a dedicated application form. If submitting multiple applications, please fill in separate forms for each applicant, click here to download the application form.

Professor David Goldsmith and Dr Weng Oh

Recent Activity

Volunteer ad for NCD project in West Africa (Ghana and Nigeria)
Apr 24, 2015

The RCP International office is looking for RCP members and fellows to support the delivery of training courses in West Africa (Ghana and Nigeria) on treating non-communicable diseases (NCDs), specifically; hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

Update from Dr Indranil Dasgupta (Heart of England Trust Birmingham)
Feb 25, 2014

Many people decide that these links are worth forging even if it takes additional time and effort. Indranil Dasgupta describes how he has recently become involved and is making a lot now happen.

Breaking (2014) news
Feb 25, 2014

Update from Debasiah Banerjee from St George’s, University of London : The St Georges Hospital in UK and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in India have started working at level B of International Society of Nephrology Sister Centre program from January 2014. The two institutes will collaborate with vascular access service development at PGIMER though bilateral visits of nurses and doctors, workshops and CME programmes.


Raising the Profile

This is one of the current priorities of the Renal Association. A number of important initiatives are sponsored by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN)  and its Commission for the Global Advancement of Nephrology (COMGAN). These include:

The Sister Renal Center (SRC) Program

The Sister Renal Center (SRC) Program is chaired by Dr Paul Harden (from Oxford). The scheme encourages the pairing of “sister centres” between Supporting Centres/SC (eg in the UK) and Emerging Centres/EC (eg in the developing world). The SRC program has 3 levels, from C to A, according to the duration of the sorority, and also the level of activities and achievement. The benefits increase from C to A with support provided by ISN for fellowships, senior scholarships, hand-on training of paramedics and organisation of meetings between the two centres. The ISN also provide travel grants for members of the EC to attend the World Congress of Nephrology, Nexus meetings and the American Society of Nephrology. Other material support includes subscriptions to Kidney International, Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology and the online ISN educational Gateway, leading textbooks in Nephrology and Internal Medicine and educational CDs.

Current UK Sister Center pairs are listed below. The annual deadline for applications is 30 September.

Level A

  • UK (St Georges and Birmingham) – Ghana (Accra and Kumasi) JOINT
  • UK (St George’s) – India (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)

Level B

  • UK (Leicester) – Nigeria (Abuja)
  • UK (Birmingham) – Chile (Santiago)
  • UK (Stevenage) – Nigeria (Lagos)
  • UK (Oxford) – Russia (Saratov) – Belarus (Minsk) TRIO
  • UK (Royal London) – Malawi (Blantyre)

Level C

  • UK (Sheffield) – Bosnia (Sarajevo)

Three successful pairs have graduated from this programme:

  • UK (Guy’s) – Romania (Iasi) – 2008
  • UK (Cardiff) – China (Nanjing) – 2009
  • UK (Oxford) – Belarus (Minsk) – 2011

The ISN Fellowship Program

The ISN Fellowship Program is chaired by Professor David Harris. This scheme provides an opportunity for UK units to host trainees from the developing world for up to 12 months. Since 2002, the UK has hosted 53 ISN fellows based in 15 centers through the generous support of the ISN and Kidney Research UK.  There are presently 6 ISN fellows training in the Uk at 6 centres.

The Renal Association has agreed to jointly sponsor a new fellowship with the ISN annually from July 2011.  The first RA-ISN Fellows appointed are:


  • Name: Dr Thong Kah Mean
  • Number of months: 12
  • Home Country: Malaysia
  • Home Institution: Hospital Kuala Lumpur
  • Home Mentor: Dr. Datuk Ghazali Ahmad
  • Host Country: UK
  • Host Institution: Sheffield Kidney institute
  • Host Mentor: Dr. Albert CM Ong
  • Training Subject: Clinical (70%) – gain experience in the investigation and management of patients with inherited kidney diseases (including polycystic kidney disease)


  • Name: Dr Ahmad Nasir Nassery
  • Number of Months: 12
  • Home Country: Pakistan
  • Home Institution: Northwest General Hospital and Research Center
  • Home Mentor: Dr. Arbab Nisar Ahmad Khan
  • Host Country: UK
  • Host Institution: Hammersmith Hospital
  • Host Mentor: Dr. Edwina Brown
  • Training Subject: General nephrology, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis


  • Name: Dr Ali Shindy
  • Number of Months: 12
  • Home Country: Egypt
  • Home Institution: Wagazig University hospital
  • Home Mentor: Essam M Lotfy
  • Host Country: UK
  • Host Institution: UCL Center for Nephrology
  • Host Mentor: Mark Harber
  • Training Subject: Kidney Transplantation

There are two annual application deadlines (31 Jan and 31 July).  You can also register your interest to host an ISN fellow by recording your unit’s interest in order to be included in the ISN fellowship matching program.

Fellows are eligible to apply for membership of the Renal Association at overseas member rates, to attend the annual KRUK Fellows Day and for sponsored places on the Renal Association Advanced Nephrology course.

The ISN COMGAN Research Committee

The ISN COMGAN Research Committee  chaired by Professor G Remuzzi has launched the ISN Program for Detection and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Disease in Developing Countries (KHDC). This program supports collaborative research with emphasis on the detection and management of CKD, hypertension and diabetes in developing countries. Applications for grants up to $20,000 are called for twice a year on the 1st of April and 1st of October.

The ISN COMGAN CME Programme

The ISN COMGAN CME Programme brings essential teaching and training to some 14,000 doctors and health care practitioners in the emerging world annually. The CME committee is chaired by Professor Norbert Lameire and is involved in sponsoring educational nephrology programmes in the developing world.

The ISN Educational Ambassador Scheme

This new scheme seeks to match specific educational needs in developing nations to that of experts from the developed nations who can offer their time and expertise on a voluntary basis. Applications can be made directly to the ISN at any time.

Opportunities to get involved

The RA international committee wishes to encourage more UK renal units and nephrologists to become involved internationally through the various ISN programs. Suggestions for wider collaborations between UK units and those in developing countries are welcome. Most members of the RA International Committee are experts in understanding the many tricky passages to navigate in getting permission for people from abroad to be able to spend time in the UK being trained, so contacting them directly with any queries would be a good way to start.

The International Committee has scheduled a meeting at the 2014 BRS-RA meeting in Glasgow (Wednesday April 30th starting at 12.45pm) – venue is the NESS ROOM. Lunch is provided.

Please also note the ISN-RA Session in the 2014 BRS-RA meeting programme – on Thursday May 1st starting at 4.00pm in the LOMOND AUDITORIUM – with Vivek Jha, Charles Swanepoel, Adrian Covic and Gavin Dreyer all speaking (see the main BRS-RA programme details on the website)

Contact: Professor David Goldsmith