Personal profile


Professor A Richard Kitching is a physician-scientist in the Department of Medicine. He heads a group working in defining how the immune system can injury the kidney in disease. He is the Director of the Monash Centre for Inflammatory Diseases. His research focuses on understanding the involvement of leukocytes (white blood cells) in glomerulonephritis, an important cause of kidney disease, so that more targeted and effective treatments can be developed and used.

He combines his research with clinical practice in Nephrology. His clinical practice helps informs important questions in the causes of immune kidney disease and how they can be better treated. He publishes in the top journals in the field , with a partcular track record in defining the role T cells in severe and proliferative forms of glomerulonephritis.

We do not have a good understanding of how different forms of glomerulonephritis occur. Drugs that are current standard of care have signifcant toxic effects - without a better understanding of how disease occurs it will be difficult to rationally apply or develop new treatments. Prof Kitching's research aims to help understand the pathogenesis of immune renal disease. He has made critical contributions to our understanding of how leukocytes mediate kidney disease in several areas.

How T helper cells direct nephritogenic immune responses. His work helped established that the Th1, Th2 and Th17 subsets are important in determining patterns of injury and outcomes in immune renal disease.

Autoreactive CD4+ cells mediate injury in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. A functional role for effector T cells was unknown in this disease until his publications showing that CD4+ cells provide the power that defines severe, rapidly progressive renal disease. They are the first demonstrations of a functional role for CD4+ cells in this ANCA-associated vasculitis and glomerulonephritis.

The unique biology of glomerular leukocyte recruitment and behaviour revealed by intravital and multiphoton microscopy. It had been assumed that leukocytes adhere in glomerular capillaries by rolling and that the were only rarely present in normal glomeruli. Neither of these assumptions are correct. With Prof Michael Hickey, Prof Kitching has used novel ways to imaging glomeruli in vivo to establish a new paradigm in this area, with high impact publications in top journals.

The plasminogen-plasmin (fibrinolytic) system in renal disease. Prof Kitching's papers have helped define the role of major elements of the fibrinolytic system in renal disease.

In 2007, Prof Kitching was awarded the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN) TJ Neale Award for Outstanding Contribution to Nephrological Science. He was Chair of the ANZSN Scientific Program and Education Committee from 2007-2011, has served on NHMRC GRP Panels as a member, Deputy Chair and Chair. He is currently a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the American Societly of Nephrology of of Kidney International.

External positions

Nephrologist, Monash Health

Paediatric Nephrologist, Monash Health


  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • T cells
  • Personalised Immunology

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Projects 2000 2021

Research Output 1997 2017

Activated renal dendritic cells cross present intrarenal antigens after ischemia reperfusion injury

Snelgrove, S. L. L., Lo, C., Hall, P., Lo, C. Y. Y., Alikhan, M. A. A., Coates, T. T., Holdsworth, S. R. R., Hickey, M. J. J. & Kitching, R. R. May 2017 In : Transplantation. 101, 5, p. 1013-1024 12 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

ANCA-Associated Vasculitis: Pathogenesis, Models, and Preclinical Testing

Hutton, H. L., Holdsworth, S. R. & Kitching, A. R. 1 Sep 2017 In : Seminars in Nephrology. 37, 5, p. 418-435 18 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview Article

CD8+ T cells effect glomerular injury in experimental anti-myeloperoxidase GN

Chang, J., Eggenhuizen, P., O'Sullivan, K. M., Alikhan, M. A., Holdsworth, S. R., Ooi, J. D. & Kitching, A. R. 1 Jan 2017 In : Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 28, 1, p. 47-55 9 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Dominant protection from HLA-linked autoimmunity by antigen-specific regulatory T cells

Ooi, J. D. , Petersen, J. , Tan, Y. H. , Huynh, M. , Willett, Z. J. , Ramarathinam, S. H. , Eggenhuizen, P. J. , Loh, K. L. , Watson, K. A. , Gan, P. Y. , Alikhan, M. A. , Dudek, N. L. , Handel, A. , Hudson, B. G. , Fugger, L. , Power, D. A. , Holt, S. G. , Coates, P. T. , Gregersen, J. W. , Purcell, A. W. & 5 others Holdsworth, S. R., La Gruta, N. L., Reid, H. H., Rossjohn, J. & Kitching, A. R. 11 May 2017 In : Nature. 545, 7653, p. 243-247 5 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Imaging Leukocyte Responses in the Kidney

Finsterbusch, M., Kitching, A. R. & Hickey, M. J. Mar 2017 In : Transplantation. 101, 3, p. 506-516 11 p.

Research output: Other - peer-reviewReview Article