Professor Albert Ong DM MA FRCP

Professor of Renal MedicineAlbert Ong

Department of Infection Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease
University of Sheffield
Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)114 215 9542
Fax: +44 (0)114 271 1863


Albert Ong is Professor of Renal Medicine, Head of Academic Nephrology and Academic Programme Director for Renal Medicine at the University of Sheffield. He was educated at the University of Oxford, graduating in physiological sciences and clinical medicine, later undergoing postgraduate training in medicine and nephrology at University College London (UCL). His interest in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) began as a Kidney Research UK (KRUK) Senior Research Fellow at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford where he started his research on the newly discovered PKD1 gene in the laboratory of Dr Peter Harris. After leaving Oxford, he developed an independent research programme on ADPKD at the University of Sheffield, first as a Senior Lecturer and then as a Wellcome Trust Research Leave Fellow. The long term goals of his group have been to define the molecular basis of ADPKD, discover, develop and test new treatments and improve the patient care pathway. He was the main nominated clinical expert to the NICE appraisal panel for the use of Tolvaptan in ADPKD and chaired the Renal Association Working Group which developed the first clinical guidance for its use in the UK. Current external responsibilities include being a member of the ERA-EDTA Scientific Advisory Board, an Editor of Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation and an External Faculty member of the Mayo Clinic Translational PKD Centre (USA).

Research Interests:

Our major research focus is on Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD). The aim of the laboratory research programme has been to define its molecular and cellular basis. We have identified the critical molecular interactions necessary for the formation, trafficking, regulation and function of the polycystin-1/polycystin-2 ADPKD protein complex and some of the major changes in cell function and signalling resulting from the disease phenotype. This information is being used to develop new therapeutic approaches using preclinical models with the ultimate goal of translation into man.

The clinical programme has focussed on improving the patient pathway for patients and families with ADPKD. We established a UKGTN-approved genetic diagnostic service for PKD1 and PKD2 in collaboration with the Sheffield Genetic Diagnostic Service, a tertiary multidisciplinary PKD clinic based at the Sheffield Kidney Institute which cares for patients in South Yorkshire and have participated in several international clinical studies and trials as the UK lead centre. We are an integral part of the Yorkshire and Humber Genome Medicine Centre (GMC) and the national Renal GeCIP investigating rare genetic causes of kidney disease as part of the UK 100,000 Genomes Project.

Teaching Interests:

I am committed to the development of the next generation of clinical and non-clinical renal scientists and to postgraduate nephrology education locally, nationally and internationally especially in the area of inherited kidney diseases. I am Academic Programme Director for Nephrology, a Board member of the EU FP7 TRANCYST initial training network and the ERA-EDTA Working Group on Inherited Kidney Diseases (WGIKD).

My wider educational interests concern the support and development of nephrology in the developing world. I was previously Chair of the Renal Association International Committee (2009-2013), have hosted an ISN Sister Centre, several International Society of Nephrology (ISN) fellows and am an ISN Educational Ambassador.

Professional Activities:

National and International Committees

  • UK Kidney Research Consortium (UKKRC) Clinical Study Group on Cystic Kidney Diseases - Chair (2009-2014), Vice-Chair (2014-present).
  • ADPKD in Europe Consortium - Co-chair.
  • ERA-EDTA EuroCYST Initiative – Steering Committee (2011), Interim Coordinator (2013-2016).
  • EU FP7 Marie-Curie TRANCYST Initial Training Network – Board member (2012-2017).
  • ERA-EDTA Working Group on Inherited Kidney Diseases - Board member (2009-2016).
  • European ADPKD Forum – Faculty member.
  • Renal Association International Committee - Chair (2009-2013), Committee member.

Editorial Boards

  • Editor, Nature Scientific Reports.
  • Theme Editor, Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.
  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Pharmacology.
  • Faculty of 1000 Medicine, Nephrology faculty.
  • Deputy Editor, Nephron Clinical Practice (2008-2012).
  • Associate Editor, BMC Nephrology (2008-2012).

Advisory Boards

  • ERA-EDTA Scientific Advisory Board
  • Mayo Translational PKD Centre, Mayo Clinic, Rochester - External Faculty
  • National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Technology Appraisal of Tolvaptan for ADPKD - Nominated Clinical Expert (2013-2015)
  • Renal Genomic England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP) – Co-chair for Cystic Diseases
  • Federation of European Associations of Patients Affected by Genetic Diseases (FEDERG) - Scientific Council
  • UK Chinese Life Scientists Society – Fellow

National and International Guidelines

  • Standardised Outcomes in Nephrology –PKD (SONG-PKD) – Steering committee.
  • PKD Outcomes Consortium (PKDOC) – Committee.
  • Renal Association Working Group for Tolvaptan in ADPKD – Chair.
  • KDIGO Controversies Conference on ADPKD – Invited participant and discussant (2014)

Current Projects:

Major research themes

  • Improving diagnosis, prognosis and clinical outcomes in ADPKD.
  • Understanding the molecular basis of polycystic kidney disease.
  • Factors influencing disease progression in experimental models.


For key publications see below. For a full list of publications click here.

Journal articles