06/10/17

Lockwood Award winner: Dr Thomas Wilkinson

The Renal Association would like to congratulate Dr Thomas Wilkinson on being awarded the 2017 Lockwood Award.

“I am exercise physiologist and research associate working with the Leicester Kidney Exercise Team, based at the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester. I completed his PhD at Bangor University in 2015 on the effects of muscle cachexia in rheumatoid arthritis patients, and its effects on physical function and quality of life. In Leicester, I currently oversee several clinical research trials investigating the effects of exercise and physical activity on a range of outcomes including muscle wasting and muscle dysfunction, physical function, balance, and immune function.

Using the Lockwood award I am visiting the Vascular Physiology Laboratory of Professor David Edwards at the University of Delaware, USA. Professor Edward’s laboratory has a dedicated renal rehabilitation research group whom examine blood vessel function and how this may contribute the high risk of heart disease in patient with renal problems. Furthermore, their research investigates interventions, such as exercise, that may improve blood vessel health and function. Interestingly, many of the group’s research investigate the role of the mitochondria in blood vessel function as well as exercise tolerance in kidney disease.

I will use this visit to discuss my work which complements the work of Professor Edwards, but also aim to create a working collaboration with the group, particularly in our use of near-infrared spectroscopy in this disease group. I will use the visit to also observe the research methods, and in particular the assessment of mitochondria function, and the research ethos and environment in this centre. I am interested to see how the research group recruits patients in a healthcare system so different from the UK, and how patients respond to doing and starting exercise”.

Following his visit to Delaware, Tom will travel down to the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week, which is to be held in New Orleans. Here he is presenting 3 abstracts on his work in Leicester:

Wilkinson TJ, Xenophontos S, Gould DW, Clarke AL, Vogt BP, Viana J, Watson EL, Smith AC. Exercise improves self-reported physical symptom burden and fatigue in non-dialysis CKD.

Wilkinson TJ, Richler-Potts D, Neale J, Smith AC. Validation of body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and bioelectrical impedance analysis in renal transplant recipients.

Wilkinson TJ, White AEM, Nixon DGD, Gould DW, Watson EL, Smith AC. Near-infrared spectroscopy measured muscle haemoglobin O2 saturation kinetics and physical performance in CKD.