Meet Research Grant Recipient: Peter Czarnecki, MD

Dr. Peter Czarnecki is the recipient of the Boston Marathon Chair of Research for $30,000.

BAF: Please tell us your background, where you are from, schooling, etc.

PC: I am originally from Germany, and I graduated from Freiburg University Medical School in 2005. I did my residency in Internal Medicine and my fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and I did my second fellowship in Nephrology at BIDMC in Boston.

BAF: What led you to become involved with brain aneurysm research?

PC: As a Nephrologist, I specialize in genetic diseases of the kidney, specifically Polycystic Kidney Disease. About 10-12% of patients with PKD have a brain aneurysm, and despite the focus on their kidney problems, the presence of a brain aneurysm may be the most serious complication of their disease.

BAF: In the simplest terms, what is the purpose of your project?

PC: We want to test, if mutations in known kidney disease genes are found in brain aneurysm patients, even if they do not have known kidney problems

BAF: In the simplest terms, what do you hope will change through your research findings?

PC: If we determine that certain gene mutations cause brain aneurysms, then a simple gene test would result in a recommendation for MRI screening, and we could potentially identify many aneurysms before they cause problems

BAF: Why is the funding you are receiving through the Brain Aneurysm Foundation so important?

OA: This is an area of high unmet need. The clinical impact of detecting aneurysms in otherwise asymptomatic patients is high. Preliminary results coming out of our proposed study can then motivate bigger funding agencies like the NIH or AHA to support larger projects. Therefore, BAF support is a very important seed, and our research may serve as a multiplier.


Pictured above is Dr. Czarnecki’s research poster, “The Role of Polycystic Kidney Disease Gene Variants in Brain Aneurysm Development”