Professor Albert Ong


Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease

Professor of Renal Medicine
+44 114 215 9542

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Professor Albert Ong
Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease
The Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

Albert Ong is Professor of Renal Medicine, Head of Academic Nephrology and Deputy Director for Clinical Academic Training at the University of Sheffield. He was educated at the University of Oxford and completed postgraduate medical training at University College London and Oxford.

Following doctoral studies in cell biology at UCL, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at Oxford (KRUK Senior Research Fellow, Harris lab, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine) before taking up a new Faculty position at the University of Sheffield. He was later awarded a major Wellcome Trust Research Leave Award to establish an independent research programme at Sheffield where his main focus has been to investigate the molecular basis of cyst formation, drug discovery and translational medicine in ADPKD.

He served as the main 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 adoption and use in the UK. He is Chief Investigator of the PKD International Consortium (CYSTic) and serves on several international editorial boards, steering groups and scientific advisory committees including the ERA-EDTA Scientific Advisory Board, the ISN Fellowship Committee and the Mayo Clinic Translational PKD Centre (USA).

Research interests

The major research goals of my laboratory have been to define the molecular basis of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), discover, develop and test new treatments and to improve the patient care pathway. We have defined the critical molecular interactions necessary for the formation, trafficking, regulation and function of the polycystin-1/polycystin-2 ADPKD protein complex and have identified several key binding partners, changes in cellular function and signalling resulting from the disease phenotype.

These findings are being used to develop new therapeutic approaches in experimental models to inhibit cyst formation or expansion with the ultimate goal of clinical translation. The clinical research programme has focussed on improving the patient pathway for patients and families with ADPKD. I am a founding member of the European ADPKD Forum which seeks to improve the multidisciplinary care for ADPKD patients across Europe through the adoption of agreed standards and an accepted patient care pathway.

Among several initiatives, we established the first UKGTN-approved comprehensive genetic diagnostic service for PKD1 and PKD2 in collaboration with the Sheffield Genetic Diagnostic Service in 2009 which has developed into an internationally used NGS panel for cystic diseases. We are an integral part of the Yorkshire and Humber Genome Medicine Centre (GMC) and the UK Renal GeCIP investigating genetic causes of rare kidney diseases as part of the UK 100K Genomes Project. We have also developed a new genetic psychosocial risk instrument for PKD (GPRI-PKD) and a semi-automated method for measuring total kidney volume from MRI (Sheffield TKV Tool).

Current projects:

  • Understanding the molecular basis of polycystic kidney disease.
  • Identifying new therapeutic targets for ADPKD in experimental models.
  • Improving diagnosis, prognosis and clinical outcomes in ADPKD.

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Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

Research group
  • Dr Andrew Streets
  • Dr Manoj Kumar Valluru
  • Dr Maryam Ahmadi
  • Ms Lisa Chang
  • Dr Jean Winterbottom
  • Dr Joshua Griffiths

PhD Students

  • Elliot Brooks (with Iwan Evans)
  • Jiehan Chong (with David Beech)
Teaching interests

Education and Training

I am Academic Programme Director for Nephrology and Deputy Director for Clinical Academic Training at the University of Sheffield. I previously served as 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 advancement of nephrology in the developing world. I am a member of the ISN Fellowship Committee and was previously Chair of the Renal Association International Committee (2009-2013). 

I 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

  • CYSTic Consortium – Chief Investigator.
  • ADPKD in Europe Consortium - Co-chair.
  • European ADPKD Forum – Faculty member.
  • ISN Fellowship committee.
  • UK Kidney Research Consortium (UKKRC) Clinical Study Group on Cystic Kidney Diseases - Chair (2009-2014), Deputy Chair (2014-2020)
  • 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.
  • Subject Editor, Nephrology.
  • 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.
  • ERA-EDTA Guidance for Tolvaptan in ADPKD – Committee.
  • KDIGO Controversies Conference on ADPKD – Invited participant and discussant (2014).