Event Listing

2022 PKD Summit - Night 3

November 23, 2022 at 6:30PM EST - 9:00PM EST

The PKD Foundation of Canada was proud to host it's second annual Virtual PKD Summit this November! The summit consisted of 4 evenings with educational events catered towards PKD patients and their loved ones, on November 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th.

The PKD Summit 2022 is an opportunity for the PKD medical community, renal healthcare professionals, PKD patients, their families and loved ones to connect and hear presentations from top Canadian and International Key Opinion Leaders in the field of PKD. Thank you to all those who attended! Video recordings are now available below!


Wednesday Nov. 23rd: Topics & Speakers

6:45-7:45 pm: Ketogenic Dietary Interventions in ADPKD - Dr. York Pei, Nephrologist and PKD Researcher (University of Toronto) & Dr. Thomas Weimbs, PKD Researcher (UCSB)& Founder of Santa Barbara Nutrients 

Dr. Pei and Dr. Weimbs discuss their upcoming clinical trial to test the long-term outcomes of ketogenic dietary interventions in ADPKD. The planned trial will be conducted at the University of Toronto by Dr. Pei and his team. Dr. Pei is a prominent nephrologist and PKD researcher at the University of Toronto.  The clinical trial is supported in part by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Santa Barbara Nutrients, a company founded by University of California Santa Barbara professor and PKD researcher Thomas Weimbs. The trial is also a collaboration with the Ren.Nu dietary program for ADPKD that is led by renal dietitian Jassianna Saville and her team. ADPKD patients in this trial will learn how to implement a plant-focused ketogenic diet together with Santa Barbara Nutrients' medical food KetoCitra, and will then be followed for a year to assess feasibility, tolerability, effects on metabolism, body weight, pain levels, and changes in renal function and total kidney volume. 

Watch Now!

7:45-8:45 pm: Getting to Know the PKD Foundation of Canada - Jeff Robertson, Executive Director, PKD Foundation of Canada

Jeff Robertson, Executive Director, walks us through the history of the PKD Foundation of Canada and highlights past, present and future goals for the organization. During this presentation, Jeff also discusses the many ways the Foundation’s mission to promote programs of research, education, support, awareness and advocacy positively impact the national PKD community and how you can get involved.

Watch Now!

About the Speakers:

Dr. York Pei
York Pei, MD, FRCP(C), FACP, FASN, is a Professor of Medicine from the Division of Nephrology at the University of Toronto; a Senior Scientist from the Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network; and the Director of the Centre for Innovative Management of Polycystic Kidney Disease, University Health Network.

His research has mainly focused on identifying the genetic factors involved in the initiation or progression of genetic kidney diseases as a target for developing novel diagnostic tests and therapies. His research program focuses on genetic, genomic, and translational research of hereditary kidney diseases with a major focus on autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). He also made important contributions to genetic research of other hereditary kidney diseases, including familial IgA nephropathy, familial nephrotic syndrome, and Alport syndrome. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, has collaborated widely with researchers nationally and internationally, and has trained numerous clinical and research fellows in hereditary kidney disease.

He founded the Centre for Innovative Management for Polycystic Kidney Disease in 2015 which provides advanced diagnostic and novel therapeutics for ADPKD. More than 500 patients are currently followed or co-managed at the centre with over 95% of them involved in at least one research project.

Dr. Pei was the co-recipient of the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for polycystic kidney disease in 2019 and the recipient of the Medal for Research Excellence by the Kidney Foundation of Canada in 2020.


Dr. Thomas Weimbs
Thomas Weimbs is a professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB) where he directs a research laboratory focused on polycystic kidney disease (PKD). He received his doctoral degree from the University of Cologne, Germany, and then conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California in San Francisco. In 1999, he started his first independent research laboratory at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic as an assistant professor. There, he started to research PKD after he was approached by a local family affected by PKD who financially supported PKD research in his newly-founded laboratory. Their family foundation still supports PKD research in Dr. Weimbs’ lab today. In 2005, Dr. Weimbs moved his laboratory back to California to join the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at UCSB.

His laboratory studies molecular mechanisms underlying PKD with an emphasis towards developing new therapies. Research from Dr. Weimbs’ lab has led to a better understanding of PKD and led to novel methods to deliver therapeutics specifically to polycystic kidneys. Some of the most recent research has led to the discovery that dietary interventions and natural metabolites strongly slow PKD progression in animal models. This led to the launch of Santa Barbara Nutrients with the goal to make these approaches available for the nutritional management of PKD and to support kidney health.

Research in Dr. Weimbs’ laboratory has been funded by grants from federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, by private foundations, including the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Amy P. Goldman Foundation and the Jarrett Family Fund, as well as several biotech companies. For more information on research in the Weimbs lab, see https://labs.mcdb.ucsb.edu/weimbs/thomas/

In his free time (what free time?), Thomas enjoys playing the saxophone in his jazz band (no, you wouldn’t have heard of them…).

Jeff Robertson:
Jeff Robertson has been involved with the PKD Foundation of Canada for many years, beginning as a volunteer for his local chapter and Walk Coordinator in Toronto. His life has been deeply impacted by polycystic kidney disease (PKD) – both his mother and grandmother were diagnosed with the disease when Jeff was young. As a result he has always been passionate about the importance of self-advocacy, volunteerism and community involvement. Having seen the increase in national exposure the PKD Foundation of Canada has received over the last 15 years, Jeff is confident that the Foundation will continue to achieve even greater success and will continue to be a nation-leading support system for those affected by polycystic kidney disease.