Award for excellence in medical research
Each year, the association of physicians in Vorarlberg issues the Durig Böhler Memorial Prize, an award for outstanding medical research in the country. On 3rd December 2019 in the festive ambience of the panorama hall at the State Hospital Feldkirch (LKHF), the award ceremony took place for the 39th time. This year, the prize was awarded to Priv.-Doz. Dr. Dr. Andreas Leiherer of the VIVIT for a study on the protein uromodulin.
Uromodulin is the most prevalent protein in human urine and is produced exclusively by the kidneys. Despite being known since the 1950s, the measurement of the uromodulin content of urine samples was flawed until recently. A newly launched assay for the detection of uromodulin in blood samples is highly accurate and reproducible. The present study conducted by the VIVIT includes over 500 patients and finds that a low serum uromodulin level is associated with renal disorder and is an independent biomarker for the future arise of chronic kidney disease. Further recent publications by the VIVIT demonstrate that uromodulin is also a biomarker for type 2 diabetes and accurately predicts the occurrence of cardiovascular events (such as heart attack or stroke) as well as long-term patient survival. These findings are corroborated by biochemical, molecular-genetic and clinical results by others and indicate that uromodulin is a new kidney specific biomarker with a high potential not only in renal diagnostics but also in other areas of internal medicine.