The Renal Association was founded in 1950, long before nephrology existed as a coherent clinical specialty, indeed before the term ‘nephrology’ was even coined. The Renal Association, now the UK Kidney Association (following a merger with the British Renal Society in 2021) is the oldest continuously active nephrology society in the world, long preceding for example the International Society of Nephrology (founded 1960), EDTA-ERA (1964), and ASN (1966).

In its early years, the Renal Association’s primary goal was to run meetings for scientific discussion of the structure and function of the kidney in health and disease. From the 1960s, once clinical nephrology emerged when renal replacement therapy developed, the Renal Association grew steadily; by 1970 there 250 members reaching 1000 in 2008, and 1,400 in 2020. The scope of Renal Association activities has also continuously expanded now involving all aspects of modern nephrology and kidney care. The Renal Association has played a key role in driving the sufficient provision of chronic dialysis, and in establishing and sustaining kidney transplantation (following the first transplant in the UK performed in Edinburgh in 1960). More recently the UK Kidney Association has played a major role in improving detection and awareness of CKD (notably through eGFR reporting) and in improving detection and management of AKI. The modern UK Kidney Association is involved in education, research, training, and clinical service delivery, making up the multifaceted professional society we know today. Read more about the development and arrival of the UK Kidney Association here. 


Past Renal Association Leadership

Here is the roster of those who have been Renal Association Presidents and Honorary Secretaries since 1950, and more recently those who have been  Treasurers and also Academic and Clinical Vice Presidents:



A Osman 1950-56

J Robson 1977-80

AJ Rees 2001-04

P Cockwell 2021-24             

RA McCance 1956-59

DNS Kerr 1980-83

J Feehally 2004-07

FR Winton 1959-62

MG McGeown 1983-86

P Mathieson 2007-10

CR Wilson 1962-65

AW Asscher 1986-89

C Tomson 2010-12           

DAK Black 1965-68

NP Mallick 1989-92

D Wheeler 2012-14

MD Milne 1968-71

JS Cameron 1992-95

B Hendry 2014-16

WS Peart 1971-74

J Walls 1995-98

D O'Donoghue 2016-18

HE de Wardener 1974-77    

DG Williams 1998-01      

G Lipkin 2018-21




John Sophian 1950-1953

William Asscher 1970-1973

David Goldsmith 2004-2008


Wilfred Payne 1950-1956

William  Cattell 1973-1978

Lorraine  Harper 2008 - 2012

AAG Lewis 1953-1960

Frank Goodwin 1978-1982

Alison Brown 2012 - 2017

AM Joekes 1956-1961

D Gwyn Williams 1982-1987

Indranil Dasgupta 2017 - 2021          

Hugh de Wardener 1960-67     

David Taube 1987-1992

Alan Salama 2021 - 

Oliver Wrong  1961-1966

Christopher Winearls 1992-1996     


John Soothill  1966-1970

Timothy Goodship 1996-2000


Norman Jones 1967-1971

Adrian Woolf 2000-2004



John Feehally 2001-2003



Donal O’Donoghue 2003-2006    

Stuart Rodger 2006-2010


Jonathan Fox 2010-2014


Neil Sheerin 2014-2019

Claire Sharpe 2019 –    







Caroline Savage 2007 – 2010



Bruce Hendry 2010 – 2013


Fiona Karet 2013 – 2016


Philip Kalra 2016 – 2019


Neil Sheerin 2019 –  








Christopher Winearls 2004 – 2007     



Kevin Harris 2007 – 2010


Martin Raftery 2010 – 2013


Graham Lipkin 2013 – 2018


Paul Cockwell  2018 – 2020

Katie Vinen 2020 -   








If you want to learn more about the history of Renal Association’s growth and development, read  The First Half Century of the Renal Association 1950-2000 by Stewart Cameron, and The Renal Association 2001-2010 by Christopher Winearls and John Feehally.

Here are other postings which provide insights into the past work of the RA, its members and the broader kidney community.



NICE accredited clinical practice guidelines 

Available here

25th Annual Report

Analyses about the care provided to patients at UK renal centres.

Read the report

2022 UKRR AKI Report

A report on the nationwide collection of AKI warning test scores. 

Read the report