Dr. Chris McIntyre is the 2020 recipient of the Lawson Impact Awards Scientist of the Year award. He is a world expert and leader in the fields of nephrology and applied imaging, with focus on cardiac injury due to dialysis. Cardiac stunning, one of the major causes for the development of cardiorenal syndrome type IV, was discovered by Dr. McIntyre. His research has improved the prognosis and quality of life of patients with end-stage kidney disease on renal replacement therapy around the world.
As the director of the Kidney Clinical Research Unit (KCRU), Dr. McIntyre has created a well-integrated, diverse, multidisciplinary research team focused largely on the pathophysiology of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that affects the cardio vascular system, brain, liver, and gastrointestinal structure and function. Dr. McIntyre’s has made patient and public engagement central to the research conducted at KCRU.
Throughout his career, Dr. McIntyre’s has published in several high-impact journals including BMJ, Nature Reviews Nephrology, Kidney International, and more. He has an outstanding reputation internationally as a highly sought-after speaker.
“Dr. McIntyre has the type of enthusiasm and innovative drive that sets apart successful clinician-scientists,” explains Dr. Andrew House, Dr. McIntyre’s nominator. “At KCRU, the main thrust is on discovery; through examination of novel pathophysiology to uncover previously unrecognized therapeutic targets. Interventions that use functionally relevant surrogates are then tested and refined and quickly moved into early phase trials. It is through this process that KCRU has developed an entirely new research infrastructure that sets it apart from any other research unit in its class.”
Dr. McIntyre’s team has made many “first and only” achievements. Recently, they led an innovative trial to treat a patient with COVID-19 using a modified dialysis device.
Dr. McIntyre is an exceptional mentor to many. The trainees who benefitted from his training have gone on to academic appointments, and many of the undergraduate students taking part in research projects in his lab are now pursuing graduate and post-graduate training. Over the past 15 years, he has supported over 100 young researchers.
“I am tremendously honoured to have received this award,” says Dr. McIntyre. “Throughout my life I have worked to constantly improve the lives of our patients. The best way I’ve found is by exploring unorthodox fields, and bridging these diverse perspectives.”
Dr. McIntyre has supervised students with very different backgrounds including, medical students, dieticians, engineers, physicists, computer scientists, social workers and artists.
“I feel a great sense of pride when I see that I’ve inspired ingenuity and drive in the individuals I’ve mentored. It is important to always have people pushing for change and challenging the status quo.”