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Singapore-Led Global Diabetes Study Relevant on an International Stage

Singapore’s Diabetes Study in Nephropathy and other Microvascular Complications (DYNAMO) received special mention at the annual Kidney Week Forum organized by the American Society of Nephrology in November 2019.

The study led by Lead Principal Investigator Professor Thomas Coffman, was launched in 2017 as one of Singapore’s key initiatives in the fight against diabetes. DYNAMO draws resources from 25 institutions from six countries with the guidance of Singapore’s leading research and healthcare institutions. Aimed at improving the understanding of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and reducing its prevalence in Singapore by 30 percent over five years.

DKD is a major cause of kidney failure in Singapore and, on average, nine people are diagnosed with kidney failure in Singapore every day – up to 40 percent of individuals with diabetes will eventually develop kidney disease.

“Diabetic kidney disease has been a subject of research for many years and, despite that fact, we don’t really understand the major root causes of kidney disease in diabetes,” said Prof Coffman, who is the Dean of Duke-NUS Medical School and a nephrologist. “DYNAMO represents what we can accomplish for patients when we combine the world-class research and infrastructure in Singapore with our cadre of talented investigators who have a passion to address this problem.”

DYNAMO is a multi-faceted approach to research, from basic scientific methodology to patient-based clinical research. Exploiting the advancements of ‘omics’ studies – such as genomics, metabolomics, and transcriptomics – to enhance knowledge of the disease biology and risk factors of DKD. The study also had access to the multi-ethnic patient cohorts in Singapore, allowing the researchers to study patients from various ethnicities.

Through the DYNAMO study, an improved understanding of DKD can help to develop ways to predict which diabetic patients will progress to DKD and provide insight to discovery of biological targets and biomarkers for treatment and prognosis, respectively. [APBN]