CNTN in-person meeting is an opportunity to re-connect


The Canadian Nephrology Trials Network was excited to meet in-person in Toronto from October 14-15. The meeting focused on succession planning and short-term and long-term network goals.


“Everyone was excited to meet again in-person,” says CNTN Project Manager Alicia Murdoch, “and I think that set the stage and contributed to a successful meeting.” The meeting included 19 in-person attendees with nephrologists, researchers and patient partners from across the country including 3 virtual participants. It was great to meet new and familiar faces as this was the first in-person meeting in over 2 years. The meeting was opened with a Land Acknowledgment and closed from Knowledge Keeper Garry Sault from Mississauga of Credit First Nation.


The meeting allowed the 4 committees of the CNTN, the Executive, the Capacity Building, Scientific Operations and Communications and Engagement, to come together and review Phase 1 successes and plan for Phase 2. Each committee gave an update to the network members and received feedback during engaging discussion reflecting challenges and successes, what has worked and what could be improved.


Discussion included supporting researchers in patient engagement including reviewing how are patient partners currently engaged in CNTN activities, how can the network support researchers in engaging patients and identifying training and capacity building needs.


Ensuring patient voices were at the forefront, advocacy was a large part of the discussion. “Patients want to make sure their voices are not only being heard but implemented into the collaboration process,” says Murdoch. The idea of patient ambassadors was recurring theme and utilizing them to advocate to REB’s, industry, Health Canada about the research of the network. “We will continue to work with our patient partners to support them and commit to amplifying the patient partner voice within our network and the larger clinical trials community,” states Murdoch.


Future network goals asked membership to reflect where do we go from here, value of CNTN to its members and the larger nephrology research community. Sustainability was discussed at great length to ensure long-term success of the network, including engaging with industry.


The network was able to offer a financial assistance opportunity back in September to projects and teams for an aspect of their research such as recruitment, knowledge translation, or patient engagement activities. The applications were evaluated and ranked by the CNTN Committee members and they reviewed the results during our meeting. There were 27 applications received and a total of 9 projects were awarded a total of $73,625.


CNTN is committed to fostering excellence for Nephrology Trials in Canada and connecting researchers and patients to support research and innovation and we look forward to Phase 2 of the network. We look forward to rolling out our succession planning as we look towards the future of the network.

If you would like to know more about CNTN or ways to get involved, please contact Alicia Murdoch at

Listen now: CNTN Spotlight Podcast – Episode 6 now available!

Listen to all episodes of the CNTN Spotlight podcast below. Join host Alicia Murdoch as she has engaging conversations with both clinicians and patient partners about various topics of importance in clinical research.

If you have an idea for a podcast, please contact Alicia at


Episode 6 – Interview with Dr. Dylan MacKay

This episode features Dr. Dylan MacKay, a researcher and assistant professor at the University of Manitoba in the department of food and human nutrition. In this episode, Dr. MacKay discusses his research involving nutrition interventions in chronic kidney disease and diabetes.


Episode 5 – Interview with Dr. Bhanu Prasad

This episode features Dr. Bhanu Prasad, Nephrologist practicing in Regina, Saskatchewan. In this episode, Dr. Prasad discusses the recent publication in CJASN “Kidney Failure Risk Equation and Cost of Care in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease” and his research on loin pain hematuria syndrome (LPHS). Dr. Prasad is also a member of the CNTN Communication and Engagement Committee.


Episode 4 – Interview with patient partner Mary Beaucage

Episode 4 features an interview with Mary Beaucage, a patient partner from Nipissing First Nation, Ontario who sits on the CNTN Communications and Engagement Committee. She is a kidney recipient and involved in several studies and committee’s within Can-SOLVE CKD including the Patient Governance Circle and Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council and will be discussing her experience.

Listen now:

Episode 3 – Interview with Dr. David Collister

This episode features Dr. David Collister, Nephrologist from University of Alberta. In this episode, Dr. Collister discusses his research program that focuses on symptom management and his experience conducting patient-oriented research. Dr. Collister is also a member of the CNTN Scientific Operations Committee and the Executive Committee.


Listen now:

Episode 2 – Interview with Dr. Stephanie Thompson

This episode features Dr. Stephanie Thompson, Nephrologist from Edmonton. In this episode Dr. Stephanie Thompson from the University of Alberta talks about the challenges and lessons learned from her recent exercise trial.


Listen now:




Episode 1 – Interview with patient partner Dwight Sparkes

The first episode features an interview with Dwight Sparkes, a patient partner from St. John’s Newfoundland who is the patient co-lead on the CNTN Capacity Building committee. He is involved in several studies and working groups within Can-SOLVE CKD and will be discussing his experience over the past 4 years.


Listen now:


Congratulations to Can-SOLVE CKD Network on Phase 2 Funding Announcement

The Canadian Nephrology Trials Network would like to acknowledge and congratulate their funding partner Can-SOLVE CKD Network on Phase 2 funding announcement. Can-SOLVE CKD will receive $3.75 million in new funding from CIHR matched by more than $8 million raised through the generous support of more than 60 partners.


The CNTN is thrilled about the investment being made by CIHR and Can-SOLVE CKD’s partner funders. Our organization is excited to continue our work towards improving the design, implementation and delivery of nephrology clinical trials in Canada.

CNTN Executive Co-Chairs Karthik Tennankore, François Madore, Hans Vorster, Dwight Sparkes


Can-SOLVE CKD Phase 2 is focused on mobilizing the findings of projects launched during the network’s first five years. Read the full network statement here:

New committee members needed!

The Scientific Operations Committee are looking for additional researchers and peer reviewers. These committees meet every other month for 1 hour to discuss ideas and move forward initiatives.

Email the CNTN project manager, Alicia at, if you have questions or would like to join the committee.


The Scientific Operations Committee primarily conducts peer review of investigator initiated research proposals brought forward by network members. They host bi-annual in-person meetings to discuss upcoming research proposals and are developing various types of pre- and post-review supports for investigators to increase the quality and quantity of research in Canada.







The Capacity Building Committee is focused on training and development of CNTN membership and the mentorship of new investigators and patient partners. Their mandate is to increase the number of people and resources available to conduct clinical trials in Canada and to increase the number of research ideas or questions developed by both patients and physicians.






The Communications and Engagement Committee’s mission is to increase the exposure of CNTN to the nephrology community across Canada thereby increasing membership to facilitate more collaboration with academic and non-academic sites across Canada and keeping that community informed about what is happening in the research community.



Can-SOLVE CKD Patient engagement presentation

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program in cooperation with the Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative and the Canadian Society of Transplantation, is happy to announce the third edition of the Patient, Family and Donor Research Forum dedicated to donation and transplantation research partners across Canada was held on June 22-23, 2022.

The Forum’s objectives were:

  1. To advance collaboration between investigators and patient, family, donor (PFD) partners in donation and transplantation research;
  2. To educate investigators and PFD partners on emerging best practices regarding the inclusion of PFDs in research and knowledge translation activities; 
  3. To promote researchers to present their work that has evolved with a PFD perspective.


During the Patients, Families & Donors in Knowledge Translation portion of the forum, Can-SOLVE CKD Project Manager Alicia Murdoch and Patient Partnerships and Training Manager Linnea Franson presented “Embedding patient engagement: the Can-SOLVE CKD experience.” 

Atlantic Provinces Partner to Create Atlantic Clinical Trials Network


Senior leaders from the four Atlantic provinces are jointly announcing the Atlantic Clinical Trials Network (ACTN) later today at the BIO International Convention in San Diego, the world’s largest event focused on biotechnology.

The network leverages regional collaboration, provincial leadership, entrepreneurial capacity, and world-class research to revolutionize access to care for patients. ACTN is driven by agility and the ability to get the right partners to the table at the right time, creating a single point of entry for researchers, partners, and patients.

Initiated by Nova Scotia Health and co-led with IWK Health, Eastern Health, Vitalité Health Network, Horizon Health Network, and Health PEI, ACTN is poised to boost research and innovation, introduce new healthcare opportunities, and position the region as a world-leader in clinical trials.


Gardner’s Grove Request for Proposal

Gardner’s Grove 2023: Request for Proposal

Submission deadline: April 30, 2022

Virtual Conference March 27-30, 2023 

The Gardener’s Grove Conference 2023 will serve to increase knowledge and awareness about the conduct of pragmatic cluster randomized registry trials embedded into routine hemodialysis care and provide an opportunity to discuss and build support for new trial ideas.

Send us your simple, sustainable, and scalable solution to better the lives or health care of patients on hemodialysis!

We are looking to support the development of interventions in hemodialysis centres that can:

  • be scaled into large multi-centre randomized controlled trials
  • be integrated into routine health care delivery with minimal disruption
  • collect trial data from existing health care databases
  • be appropriate for an alternative method of patient consent
Are you a patient, caregiver, and/or family member interested in being involved in a trial idea?Send us your proposal!

To submit your proposal or if you have any questions please go to

Congratulations to CIHR Fall 2021 Project Grant recipients

Congratulations to CNTN members Drs. David Collister and Karthik Tennankore who were part of a team that was awarded a CIHR Fall 2021 Project Grant

Project Title: Reducing Dietary Acid with fruit and vegetables versus oral alkali in people with Chronic Kidney Disease (ReDACKD) feasibility trial

Principal investigator(s): Dylan MacKay, Navdeep Tangri

Co-Investigator (s): Robert Balshaw, Leah Cahill, David Collister, Bohdan Luhovyy, Rebecca Mollard, Jennifer Protudjer, Karthik Tennankore

CIHR introduces new Policy Guide with requirements for the registration and disclosure of results from clinical trials

CIHR introduces new Policy Guide with requirements for the registration and disclosure of results from clinical trials

As a signatory of the World Health Organization’s Joint Statement on Public Disclosure of Results from Clinical Trials, CIHR is committed to advancing open science, research excellence, and greater transparency in clinical trials. To that end, CIHR has introduced a Policy Guide with new requirements for the registration and public disclosure of the results of clinical trials.

Nominated Principal Investigators receiving CIHR grant funds for clinical trial research on or after January 1, 2022 must comply with the following practices to remain eligible for new CIHR funding:

  • Clinical trials must be registered in a publicly available, free-to-access, searchable clinical trial registry complying with the WHO’s international agreed standards before the researcher meets with the first study participant.
  • New Public disclosure of results must be done within a mandated time frame:
    • Publications describing clinical trial results must be open access from the date of publication.
    • Summary results must be publicly available within 12 months from the last visit of the last participant (for collection of data on the primary outcome).
  • New All study publications must include the registration number/Trial ID (to be specified in the article summary/abstract).

We invite you to read the Policy Guide and consult the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.