NephCure will periodically feature a person who plays a role in the overall success of the Foundation and the advancement of kidney disease research. From patients to family members to doctors to staff, our intention is to allow everyone to learn more about the people involved in finding a cure for kidney disease the FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome (NS).
Dr. Sean Barbour
University of British Columbia
More background: medicine.med.ubc.ca/profiles/sean-barbour/
Q: Tell us about the research/project you’re working on at the moment?
Q: What would you tell someone who was newly diagnosed with FSGS/Nephrotic Syndrome about the area of research that would help to inspire hope for their condition?
This is an exciting time for research in nephrotic syndrome. In the last 10 years, there have been major advancements in the understanding of what causes certain types of nephrotic syndrome, what contributes or determines poor outcomes, and new treatments for this group of diseases. So I would tell someone newly diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome that although they may feel they have a disease that is not well known, research in this area is growing rapidly, more so than in other types of kidney problems, and this will lead to new treatments to help cure them of their disease.
Q: How did you get interested in your career? Did you always want to go into medicine?
I became interested in a research career in glomerular diseases and nephrotic syndrome while doing specialized training in this area with a group of experts at the University of Toronto. I was particularly captivated by the potential to treat and cure this group of kidney diseases that affect younger and otherwise healthy patients. I would encourage anyone training in nephrology to do an elective with an expert in nephrotic syndrome to peak their interest early in their career path.
Q: Have you made any scientific discoveries? If so, what was that like?
I have investigated the risk of the venous clotting in the nephrotic syndrome, and determinants of progressing to kidney failure. I have identified barriers to comprehensive health care delivery to patients with nephrotic syndrome across Canada. I have also developed a provincial administrative body in British Columbia to ensure patients with nephrotic syndrome have access to optimal health care resources necessary for their disease.
What are some interesting careers related to nephrology? What advice would you give those who want to become nephrologists or who want to go into medicine?
Q: What are your hobbies and other interests?
I enjoy skiing, playing tennis and golf, working out and running. The great thing about Vancouver is the climate that allows outdoor activities year round.
Q: What is your favorite professional sports team? Why?
I jump on the bandwagon of the Vancouver Canucks when they aren’t missing the playoffs or causing riots. I’m also an avid fan of MotoGP motorcycle racing and professional tennis.
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My wife’s homemade granola. It is really the best granola around.
Q: What would be your ideal vacation?
My ideal vacation would be a combination of sporting activities, a wide selection of foodie restaurants, family-oriented fun for my daughter, and ready access to great wine.