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Join ISN in Congratulating the Recipients of ISN 2020 Awards

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the ISN membership, it is my very great pleasure to announce this year’s recipients of the Jean Hamburger Award, the Bywaters Award, and the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement in the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease. The winners have made outstanding contributions to nephrology and patient care as scientists, educators, clinicians, and leaders, and we extend our gratitude and appreciation for their efforts.

Nominated by the ISN membership and selected by the ISN Awards Committee and Lillian Jean Kaplan Prize Advisory Committee, the 2020 winners are proudly honoured for their commitment to nephrology. They will be officially presented with their awards at WCN’21 in Montreal, QC, Canada in April 2021.


The Jean Hamburger Award recognizes outstanding research in nephrology with a clinical emphasis. This year’s winner is Prof. William Couser.

This award is the greatest honor of my professional career and highlights the exceptional work done by the many fellows from nine countries who worked with me over the years to better understand and treat immunologic renal diseases.

Dr. Couser is Affiliate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA. He is a past president of both the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and served on the Executive Committee of the ISN from 2001-2013 as Head of its Global Outreach Programs and as Chairperson of the World Kidney Day Steering Committee. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

He is a recipient of the David Hume Award from the US National Kidney Foundation, the Joel Kopple Award from the International Federation of Kidney Foundations, and the John Peters Award from the ASN.

Dr. Couser’s area of expertise is pathogenic mechanisms and clinical management of glomerulonephritis (GN). His research showed that most forms of GN were autoimmune and resulted from in situ formation of immune complexes involving self-antigens rather than circulating immune complex trapping involving foreign antigens, and that the complement membrane attack complex (C5b-9) was a critical mediator in several forms of GN and interstitial diseases. He has lectured in over 60 countries and published over 360 papers including multiple reviews, editorials, and book chapters on these topics.


The Bywaters Award is a life-time achievement award recognizing outstanding contributions to the understanding of Acute Kidney Injury. This year’s winner is Prof. Karl Nath.

This is the greatest honor I have ever been privileged to receive in my entire career! Eric Bywaters has been a tremendous inspiration to me in multitudinous ways throughout my career, and to be the recipient of this award is a dream come true!

Dr. Nath was born and raised in Trinidad, West Indies. He attended the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was the most distinguished graduate in medical school (1978). He completed training in Internal Medicine (1982) and Nephrology (1985) at the University of Minnesota (MN), Minneapolis, MN, USA. He has served at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA since 1996 where he is a Professor of Medicine, Consultant in Nephrology, and the Robert Joseph Patnode Professor in Nephrology (appointed 2018).

Dr. Nath is the recipient of an NIH Merit Award for his research on heme oxygenase and the nephrotoxicity of heme proteins, and has been NIH-research funded continuously since 1988. He is the recipient of the Karis Award for outstanding patient care, Mayo Clinic (2005); the Distinguished Alumnus Career Achievement Award, University of Minnesota (2006); the Research Career Achievement Award, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic (2016); and Mayo Clinic’s Distinguished Investigator Award (2016).

Dr. Nath served as the Program Director of the Clinician Investigator Training Program, Mayo Clinic (1998-2018). He is the Editor-in-Chief of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, prior to which Dr. Nath served as Editor-in-Chief of Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).


The Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize recognizes individuals for excellence and leadership in Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) clinical or basic research whose seminal scientific work has advanced knowledge and treatment of PKD. This year’s winner is Prof. Arlene Chapman.

The Lillian Jean Kaplan Prize is the most prestigious award for a clinician or clinician scientist working in the area of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. This is a beautiful honor and the most cherished of my career. The encouragement this recognition gives extends beyond expectations and gives further support to find a cure for this life threatening disorder. I am humbled and extremely appreciative.

Dr. Chapman is the Chief Section of Nephrology at the University of Chicago and a physician scientist who has worked in the field of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) for over 30 years.

With continuous NIH funding for over 20 years, she has led the PKD Foundation as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee, creating new funding mechanisms for fellowships and establishing the FASEB research conference in PKD, now in its 15th year.

She established the role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in hypertension and the increased incidence of asymptomatic intracranial aneurysms (5.5%) in ADPKD. She led efforts to develop an FDA-approved prognostic imaging biomarker (MR-based total kidney volume) in the CRISP study. TKV measurement of cyst burden has led to new treatments including rigorous blood pressure control (the HALT PKD trial) and vasopressin V2 antagonist therapy (the TEMPO trials) where inhibition of the vasopressin V2 receptor slows disease progression.

Her efforts have resulted in worldwide approval for the first disease modifying therapy for ADPKD.


Vivekanand Jha
ISN President

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