Innovation, Integration, and Vision for the Future Mark the Mandate of Prof. Roser Torra at the Helm of European Nephrology

Dr. Roser Torra Balcells, a researcher in the Nephrology Research Group at the Sant Pau Research Institute (IR Sant Pau) and nephrologist at the Puigvert Foundation, assumes the presidency of the European Renal Association (ERA) representing over 26,000 nephrologists from across Europe during the 61st edition of the annual congress held from May 23-26 in Stockholm (Sweden).

With this appointment, Dr. Torra is the first woman to hold this position, and her first statement was addressed to all patients suffering from kidney disease: “Our primary focus will be on the well-being of kidney patients, and this will guide all our actions and initiatives.” In this regard, her commitment is to improve patient care by promoting the clinical application of the latest scientific advances through training and dissemination among professionals, but also by raising government awareness of the social and economic impact of chronic kidney disease (CKD). According to Dr. Torra, “the results of recent clinical studies published in leading scientific journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, indicate that we are at a peak moment in nephrology with the development of new therapies to treat chronic kidney disease.” In this context, she adds that “the ERA will not hesitate to put all means in place to help raise awareness among governments and public health institutions to direct efforts and resources towards the early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease.”

Furthermore, equity and inclusivity are, according to the new ERA president, at the forefront of the presidency’s actions, not only concerning professionals but also towards the people they serve: “We need to include everyone, regardless of their background, gender, and condition. Our patients should not suffer from health inequities.” Although the Association does not adopt any political ideology, Dr. Torra points out that “as medical professionals, we are committed to helping people, especially those with kidney disease who are in vulnerable situations as victims of natural or human-caused disasters,” referring to the Kidney Aid in Disasters working group.

Finally, innovation will be the third priority axis during the next triennial to be a “living association, capable of leveraging the latest technologies and new knowledge and providing them to its members; an association with a vision for the future.”

Equity, Collaboration, and Optimism Mark the Beginning of the Next Triennial of the Era

The first action of the new presidency has been the launch of the “Women of ERA” (WERA) working group, with the aim of raising awareness in the medical community and society about gender equality in the field of nephrology. In a context where the growing presence of women in medicine is not reflected in the number of principal investigators or speakers at medical-scientific conferences, nor represented in leadership and decision-making positions or opinion leaders, WERA will encourage female nephrologists to contribute to research and scientific dissemination.

Another line of work that will be initiated is to strengthen institutional relationships with national societies—such as the Spanish Society of Nephrology (SEN)—where the ERA can serve as an umbrella for societies and a meeting point to discuss their differences and difficulties.

Finally, Dr. Torra aims to establish spaces for dialogue and exchange between nephrologists of all ages and backgrounds from Europe and the Mediterranean basin. “I have seen many young people at this edition of the annual ERA congress; they are the future of nephrology, and I see a truly bright future for our specialty,” she predicts.

Dr. Roser Torra is a Professor of Medicine at UAB. She embarked on her journey in the field of CKD in 1994 and completed her doctorate on Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) in 1997. Since then, she has been deeply involved in both clinical practice and research, focusing on diseases such as ADPKD, Fabry disease, Alport syndrome, CET, cystinosis, and FSGS, among other rare diseases. With over 200 national and international publications on kidney diseases, Dr. Torra has made significant contributions in this field.

Dr. Torra’s involvement goes beyond research and clinical practice. She is currently actively participating in numerous trials and projects on hereditary renal disorders, both nationally and internationally, while also supervising doctoral theses on HRDs. She also acts as a reviewer/advisor in this field for various journals, meetings, project evaluation agencies, and government policy bodies. Her expertise has been recognized in several KDIGO meetings. Dr. Roser Torra is also the coordinator of the Spanish research network (RICORS2040) and the European Reference Network (ERKnet).

Dr. Torra holds the position of president of the ERA (European Renal Association) from 2024 to 2027.

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