Professor David Ferenbach
Professor of Regenerative Nephrology and MRC Senior Clinical Fellow
Professor David Ferenbach
Professor of Regenerative Nephrology and MRC Senior Clinical Fellow
Accepting PhD Students


See all network

Research in a nutshell

Acute kidney injury (AKI) predominantly affects the elderly and is increasing in incidence. It complicates over 7% of hospital admissions and carries a high risk of morbidity and mortality. I have previously demonstrated that this aging associated susceptibility is also present in a mouse model of AKI and can be modified via therapies targeting the innate immune system.
There is also an increasing recognition that the elderly survivors of AKI often do not achieve the complete renal recovery classically reported in the young, instead going on to develop chronic kidney disease with its associated sequelae. Importantly, no specific treatments exist to promote recovery, and there is an unmet need for therapies to promote early and complete resolution of renal injury.
The processes underlying these altered reparative responses seen in the elderly remain poorly understood, and would be of potential wider relevance to other pathologies associated with aging such as myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke. Dissecting the key cell types and phenotypic changes associated with response of the aging kidney to AKI should permit the rational design of novel therapies.


Education/Academic qualification

Graduated in Medicine from Edinburgh University with an intercalated honours degree in Pathology. After HO posts in Edinburgh and SHO/SHO3 posts in the Glasgow Royal and Western Infirmaries I returned to Edinburgh in 2003 as a Specialist Registrar in Nephrology.

Undertook PhD under the supervision of Professors Hughes and Kluth, examining the role of the macrophage in acute kidney injury.

In 2013 was awarded an Intermediate Clinical Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust examining mechanisms underlying the altered susceptibility of the aged kidney to renal insults, working in Harvard Medical School, MA, USA and the Centre for Inflammation Research in Edinburgh. During this period the research became focused on dissecting and understanding the contribution of epithelial senescence to renal regeneration and fibrosis in health, disease and ageing.

In 2022 was awarded an MRC Senior Clinical Fellowship to examine senescent cell signalling pathways using the latest advances in spatial transcriptomic technology.

Honours and Awards

Lockwood Award from the UK Renal Association
Walls Bursary from the Renal Association
Sir James Black Prize from the Scottish Society for Experimental Medicin


Senolytic treatment preserves biliary regenerative capacity lost through cellular senescence during cold storage

Single-cell analysis of senescent epithelia reveals targetable mechanisms promoting fibrosis