Deborah Pelaez, Marketing and Communications Manager
Direct: (813) 400-2394

Tampa, FL – The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the nation’s oldest and largest, fully independent kidney patient organization announced plans to join patient research efforts for The Kidney Project. The Kidney Project is a cutting-edge national research initiative that is accelerating the creation of a small, surgically implanted, and free-standing bio-artificial kidney to treat End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Alongside Kidney Project leads Dr. Shuvo Roy, PhD, Technical Director at the University of California, San Francisco and Dr. William H. Fissell, MD, Medical Director at Vanderbilt University; the AAKP Center for Patient Research and Education will provide valuable patient insights. Initially, AAKP will deploy a comprehensive online survey to obtain unique qualitative and quantitative data on patient preference, perception, and risk tolerance for new and innovated therapies such as wearable and implantable devices.

Founded in 1969, AAKP has a legacy of supporting private, non-profit and public sector innovations in kidney care treatment and has significantly expanded its capacities to support innovation through a robust and highly diverse national kidney patient database.  AAKP works closely with Federal government payors, regulators and quality experts to help officials understand patient needs and risk tolerance. AAKP has conducted significant patient-centered research for multiple Federal agencies and medical professional societies.

“The AAKP partnership with The Kidney Project formalizes an already strong relationship among Dr. Shuvo Roy and Dr. William H. Fissell, AAKP leadership and our Center for Patient Research and Education. Kidney patients refuse to settle with the dialysis status quo and want a substantive role in bringing artificial implantable technologies into the market since these devices could better enable them to pursue their aspirations, including full-time work.” stated Paul T. Conway, AAKP president. Conway is a transplant recipient and a former Chief of Staff of the U. S. Department of Labor.

“With the severe shortage of donor kidneys, the vast majority of ESRD patients must rely on dialysis. The bio-artificial kidney will provide these patients an alternative treatment that will free them from the tether of a dialysis machine and allow them to eat and drink freely,” said Dr. Fissell. Dr. Roy added, “The unique construction of the implantable device using silicon membranes will provide continuous removal of toxins from blood and also alleviate the need for immunosuppressants”.

“Dr. Shuvo Roy and Dr. Fissell are vigorous patient advocates dedicated to transforming kidney care for current patients and those yet to be diagnosed.  AAKP is committed to helping The Kidney Project navigate policy issues within the Executive Branch and Congress necessary to make this effort a reality,” stated Richard Knight, AAKP Vice President and Chair of Public Policy. Mr. Knight is a transplant patient and a veteran of Capitol Hill, with experience working on business and health issues with the Congressional Black Caucus.

For more information on The Kidney Project, please visit and for information on patient research opportunities with AAKP, please visit