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William Petchey

BSc BM MRCP PhD

Clinical Translational Research Fellow

  • Consultant Physician/Nephrologist

I am a clinician-researcher based in the Transplantation Research Immunology Group, and work at the Oxford Transplant Centre (Churchill Hospital). I qualified in medicine from the University of Southampton and completed my PhD at the NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence (Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease), University of Queensland. My research interests are focused on novel interventions to improve the long-term cardiovascular outcomes of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or who have received renal transplants.

CKD affects more than one in 20 of the UK population. Patients with renal disease are at a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than the general population, and treating traditional risk factors in this group has not proved as effective; Innovative approaches are therefore required. After transplantation there is the addition of powerful immunosuppressive drugs to consider – necessary to prevent the body rejecting the transplant, but with harmful side-effects in the long-term. Reducing exposure to these medicines whilst avoiding rejection is a key goal of modern transplant medicine.

Currently I am involved with the ONE Study; a multinational research collaborative funded by the EU to assess cellular therapy in transplantation, with the goal of immunosuppression minimisation. In Oxford we are using expanded autologous polyclonal regulatory T cells infused into patients shortly after transplant in an effort to allow ‘tolerance’ of the foreign tissue by the body’s immune system. With our experience of this first-in-man phase I trial, we have secured a further £3.1 million MRC grant to conduct a larger, phase IIb trial to assess the efficacy of this treatment. The hope is to achieve minimal immunosuppression thus avoiding long term consequence such as cardiovascular and metabolic disease, opportunistic infection and malignancy, without an increased rejection rate.    

I have previously been funded by the NHMRC (Australia), and the European Society of Transplantation. I am an invited faculty member on the Renal Association’s Advanced Nephrology Course, the Oxford-Ghent Dialysis and Transplantation Summer School, and a Clinical Supervisor for Pembroke College, Cambridge.

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