Anupam Agarwal, MD, has been named chair of the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week in Atlanta, Georgia, November 5-10, 2013. Agarwal, Professor of Medicine, was appointed Director of the Division of Nephrology in 2008 and holds the Marie S. Ingalls Endowed Chair in Nephrology Leadership. He is Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Medicine. His clinical/research interests focus on regulation of heme oxygenase gene expression in kidney and vascular injury.
Roslyn Mannon, MD, Professor of Medicine and Surgery and Director of Research at the UAB Comprehensive Transplant Institute, has been elected president of the American Society of Transplantation (AST). She succeeds Robert Gaston, MD, Medical Director of the UAB Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program. Mannon is primary investigator on several major, federally funded, transplantation clinical trial consortia. Her research focuses on the causes of late kidney allograft failure.
UAB established the Comprehensive Transplant Institute (CTI) in 2011 to build on almost 5 decades of excellence in kidney transplantation by further strengthening programs in heart, lung, liver, and pancreas transplantation. UAB has performed almost 9000 kidney transplants since 1968 (ranking second in the nation) and has helped develop or evaluate almost all transplant drug regimens currently in use.
Transplant nephrologist Robert Gaston, MD, and transplant surgeon Devin Eckhoff, MD, are the institute’s codirectors. Gaston, immediate past president of the American Society of Transplantation (AST), says its goals are to increase options for patients, expand the future of transplantation through translational research and clinical trials, and ensure that staffing, fellowship programs, and faculty commitment to translational research continue strong.
“The synergies available with this institute have energized our transplant community,” says Gaston. “Collaboration with the UAB immunologists has produced three pilot grant awards; we launched a new transplant data system to serve as a strong tool for patient care and a vast repository for research and opened a large new Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Clinic to increase efficiency and reduce waiting times.”
He also noted the implementation of the Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation-10 Study, which examines the use of belatacept as a means to avoid calcineurin inhibitors and steroids, with mechanistic studies to occur in the laboratories of transplant nephrologist Roslyn Mannon, MD, current AST president. In addition, the CTI hosted its first symposium, “The Role of Innate Immunity in Solid Organ Transplantation,” with expert speakers from UAB, Oxford University, Harvard University, and Cleveland Clinic. The 2013 symposium is set for March at UAB and will be jointly hosted by Emory University.
The institute, says Gaston, provides a means to expand patient options, including incompatible transplantation and kidney-paired donation and new access to transplants for patients with HIV or hepatitis C infection. “We are ensuring the successful future of the program by recruiting research-based and clinical faculty to develop and continue initiatives in maintaining long-term allograft function, preventing damage to transplanted organs in the recovery and preservation phases, and developing approaches to prevent rejection with the side effects we currently see.”
Faculty recruitment includes abdominal and thoracic transplant surgeons, transplant nephrologists and hepatologists, a heart-failure specialist, and a new medical director for lung transplantation, among others.
For a virtual tour of the kidney transplant clinic, visit: www.uabmedicine.org/kidneytransplant
A festschrift is a celebration of an individual's life work. The term, borrowed from the German language, can be translated as celebration publication or celebratory writing. In academia a festschrift is a book or group of publications put together for the occasion of the honoree's retirement, 60th or 65th birthday or other notable career anniversary. People who have collaborated with the honoree and have used his work as a foundation for their own research, often who are former students, comment on their collaborations and on the impact of the honoree's work on the academic discipline. The festschrift, which included oral presentations of these types of publications, celebrated Curtis' retirement from UAB, which was effective April 1.
"John Curtis has made monumental contributions to transplant nephrology, education and patient care during his 30 years at UAB," said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Nephrology. "He has excelled as a researcher, teacher, mentor and physician in ways that few academic physicians are able to do."
In addition to instituting UAB's transplant nephrology training program in 1988, Curtis is recognized as an international leader in transplantation nephrology, and was one of the first researchers to recognize the importance of studying non-immunologic issues in clinical transplantation. His research documented the importance of the kidney in influencing blood pressure responses and remains definitive in the field. Scientists representing the University of Cincinnati, University of Maryland, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, University of Texas, San Antonio, University of Ottawa and UAB will make presentations.
Dr. Bindels has studied renal transport mechanisms throughout his career, focusing on calcium and magnesium transport systems in the kidney and small intestine. He has also explored pathologies related to mutations of several other renal transporters, such as NKCC2, NCC, and ROMK2. He has made major advances in our understanding of calcium channels and has identified the major sites of calcium uptake along the nephron. He has been a pioneer in the recognition of the new family of calcium and magnesium TRP channels. He has made significant observations on the transient receptor potential channels TRPV5, TRPV6, TRPM6, and TRPM7 in particular.
Dr. Bindels has been one of the most prolific investigators in the transporter field, with over 200 publications in just 18 years. His work has been published in outstanding journals and his studies are often cited as key advances on understanding calcium, magnesium and TRP channels. He has been a versatile investigator who has used a multiple-discipline approach, including established epithelial cell lines, tissue-specific knockout mice models, and electrophysiological and biochemical analysis of channel activity.
Dr. Bindels is also an outstanding educator, who has mentored 23 doctorates in 15 years at the Nijmegen Medical Centre. He is responsible for several physiology courses for medical and health science students and is currently Chair of Physiology. He is an elected member of the Academia Europaea.
Dr. Bindels was an NRTC fellow in Dr. James Schafer's laboratory here at UAB from 1986 to 1987 on a NATO postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Schafer had the honor of introducing Dr. Bindels as the 2009 Recipient of the Carl W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lectureship of the American Physiological Society at the Experimental Biology meeting in New Orleans. In July, he will receive the Robert F. Pitts Memorial Award at the International Union of Physiological Societies (IUPS) meeting in Kyoto, and he has just found out that he will receive the Homer Smith Award at this year's ASN meeting! Quite a year for René!
René J. M. Bindels, Chair of the Dept of Physiology at the University of Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands (now called Radhoud University) and a former UAB NRTC postdoctoral fellow is receiving three of the highest awards in Renal Physiology this year. Dr. Bindels was an NRTC fellow in Dr. Jim Schafer’s laboratory from 1986 to 1987 on a NATO postdoctoral fellowship. He was introduced as the 2009 Recipient of the Carl W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lectureship of the American Physiological Society at the Experimental Biology Meeting in New Orleans by Dr. Schafer. In July he will receive the Robert F. Pitts Memorial Award at the International Union of Physiological Societies (IUPS) meeting in Kyoto, and has also been notified he will receive the Homer Smith Award at this year's ASN meeting.
The Homer Smith Award is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions which fundamentally affect the science of nephrology, broadly defined, but not limited to, the pathobiology, cellular and molecular mechanisms and genetic influences on the functions and diseases of the kidney. Established in 1964, this award recognizes one of the major intellectual forces in renal physiology.
Dr. Smith spent the majority of his professional career at New York University, moving there in 1928 following a three-year tenure as Chairman of Physiology at the University of Virginia. As director of the Physiology Laboratories at NYU he developed and refined his concepts of glomerular filtration and tubular absorption and secretion of solutes. The clarity of his logic and the skill with which he explained his ideas transformed them into vivid and powerful concepts that are the cornerstones of our present understanding of normal and abnormal renal function. He attracted the best and brightest into the field, not only to NYU, but also to the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory where he spent many summers studying renal physiology in fish.
His use of comparative approaches to explain normal human physiology stands as a model for students of biology and scientists attempting to unravel the mysteries of normal and disordered renal function. This award is in recognition of those who follow in his footsteps and contribute to our understanding of how the kidney functions normally and in disease states.
The NRTC was tied with Yale (Physiology + Nephrology) for the Gottschalk Award in the number of past recipients (counting Steve Hebert as having both a UAB and Yale connection). That tie was broken at the EB meeting Renal Dinner when it was announced that next year's Gottschalk award will go to Darwin Bell, former NRTC and Division of Nephrology Faculty.
Congratulations to Dr. Sumant S. Chugh for receiving the 2012 Max Cooper Award for Excellence in Research! Dr. Chugh will be honored at the Faculty Honors Reception, which will be held on May 22 at 5:00 pm in the West Pavilion, Conference Room E. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Chugh.
John J. Curtis, M.D. - Honored with Festschrift [more...]