series event

CKDu: from epidemic to pandemic?

Chronic kidney disease of undetermined cause (CKDu), is a progressive loss of kidney function not due to the typical risk factors for kidney disease. It affects predominantly young, working age men in some of the most precarious industries and economies in the world.  While the cause is still unknown, the scale of the epidemic, and its costs, are becoming apparent. Concurrently, practical interventions show promise of addressing identified risk factors, though they face major hurdles for implementation and assessment.  When La Isla Network started 9 years ago in Nicaragua we understood CKDu to be a regional epidemic in Mesoamerica with similarities to an apparently related epidemic in Sri Lanka. Today we are addressing what is potentially a pandemic, with studies planned and ongoing in India, Peru, Malawi, the USA, Mexico and many other countries.

In the intervening years, we have seen many barriers to understanding the disease and protecting those who are most impacted by it, and have garnered insights on how to navigate those roadblocks going forward.  In this seminar, La Isla Network founder Jason Glaser will discuss the early days of addressing an overlooked crisis in one country, and how today, in collaboration with LSHTM and others, we are now addressing CKDu globally.

This is event is for professors, students and anyone interested in the phenomenon of CKDu and what LSHTM and its partners are doing to address it.

Information about speaker(s):  Jason Glaser, Founder of La Isla Foundation and Network ( utilizes his backgrounds in documentary production and international investigation to coordinate scientific research, advocacy, publicity, agricultural innovation and community development projects aimed at ending the CKDu epidemic. He is currently studying epidemiology at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A leading voice on this topic worldwide, scientific articles co-authored by Glaser have appeared in the American Journal of Kidney Disease, MEDICC Review, and Nature’s Kidney International, among others. His commentary on the epidemic is sourced by major news media, including The New York Times, VICE, National Geographic, Science, NPR and Scientific American. Glaser is recognized as one of five 2015 Tallberg Foundation Global Leaders.

Glaser encountered the CKDu epidemic in Nicaragua while producing the documentary film Bananaland, an investigation of environmental and human rights abuses in the Latin American banana industry.


Free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.