Home>News>Student awarded for research which aims to improve outcome for kidney transplant patients

Student awarded for research which aims to improve outcome for kidney transplant patients

​News | 7 December 20​23

A Cardiff Metropolitan University student has been awarded for research in collaboration with Kidney Wales that focused on ​finding a new method to detect a virus called HCMV, which could lead to a reduction in future complications for kidney transplant patients in Wales.

Lauren Jones, 27, from Pembrokeshire, a PhD student at Cardiff Met won the award in the Researcher’s Research category at the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) annual event. KESS 2 is a major pan-Wales operation supported by European Social Funds (ESF)​ through the Welsh Government. It involves all universities in Wales and links companies and organisations with academic expertise in the higher education sector in Wales to undertake collaborative research projects, working towards a PhD or Research Masters qualification.

Lauren Jones (left) with award

Lauren said: “A herpesvirus called HCMV represents a huge challenge faced by patients and clinicians following kidney transplantation. HCMV related complications after a kidney transplant can lead to extended hospital stays and even organ rejection.

“The aim of my PhD project was to find a new biomarker that clinicians could use to identify patients at risk of developing an HCMV infection, for a timelier intervention and hopefully better patient outcomes. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and was very proud to receive the Researcher’s Research Award.”

The KESS 2 event was attended by the Minister for the Economy of Wales, Vaughan Gething MS, and provided a platform to showcase the innovative KESS 2 research projects that were funded by ESF and presented by postgraduate researchers, company partners, and academics.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said: “The [KESS 2] ​programme has been a success on a variety of fronts. It’s helped universities, postgraduate students and businesses to work together, to achieve a range of mutual goals and benefits. The impact of that research also helps to support innovation and growth in hundreds of small businesses across Wales. That underpins the choices we’re now trying to make in taking forward our own innovation strategy in Wales.

“Crucially it has also helped people, in the partnerships that have been created, to partner young people and businesses across Wales, and that has helped to retain real talent within the Welsh economy. So, a genuine thank you to all the universities who have participated in helping to make this happen.”

Rebecca Aicheler, Senior Lecturer in Immunology at Cardiff Met, said: “Lauren gave an excellent overview of her project in just two minutes, and we were delighted that she won the Researcher’s Research Award for her hard work and dedication.”

KESS 2 is led by Bangor University and following the highly successful KESS project between 2009 and 2014, is now in the second round of funding and will provide 645 scholarships over the course of six years.