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Announcing the Recipients of ISN 2022 Awards

The ISN is pleased 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.

Nominated by the ISN membership and selected by the ISN Awards Committee and Lillian Jean Kaplan Prize Advisory Committee, the 2022 winners are honored for their commitment to kidney care. Award winners will be recognized at The ISN World Congress of Nephrology 2022, taking place virtually, February 24-27, 2022.

The Jean Hamburger Award rewards outstanding research in nephrology with a clinical emphasis. This year’s winner is S. Ananth Karumanchi.

Dr. Ananth Karumanchi: Winner of the Jean Hamburger Award
Dr. Hamid Rabb: Winner of the Bywaters Award
Dr. Alessandra Boletta and Dr. Albert Ong:
Winners of the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize

Dr. Ananth Karumanchi, Medallion Chair in Vascular Biology, is Director of Renovascular Research and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA.

Dr. Karumanchi has a second appointment as a Visiting Staff Scientist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School, Boston. He completed his medical degree at the University of Madras, India (1992), followed by a residency in Internal Medicine at the Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit (1996), and a fellowship in Nephrology at BIDMC, Boston (1999).

His laboratory characterizes pathogenic pathways and develops therapies for hypertensive disorders in pregnancy and chronic renal disease. Dr. Karumanchi’s research activities are vertically integrated, ranging from molecular and cell biological studies through animal models to first-in-class human clinical trials. Dr. Karumanchi has published over 300 papers (including NEJM, Circulation, Nature, Nature Medicine, and JCI, with an H index of 108).

He has received several prestigious awards:

  • Established Investigator Award, 2008, American Heart Association (AHA)
  • Chesley Award, 2010, International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy
  • Outstanding Investigator Award, 2010, American Federation for Medical Research
  • Gregory Pincus Memorial Medal, 2021, Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research

Dr. Karumanchi became an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2007 and the Association of American Physicians in 2015. His research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the AHA, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Gates Foundation.

Commenting on his award, Dr. Karumanchi says, “Jean Hamburger is considered as one of the founders of modern nephrology, and I am indeed honored to receive this prestigious ISN award that bears his name.”

The Bywaters Award recognizes outstanding contributions made to the understanding of Acute Kidney Injury. This year’s winner is Hamid Rabb.

Dr. Hamid Rabb was born in Bangladesh and raised in Montreal. His passion for nephrology grew during an externship with Floyd Rector at UCSF while studying medicine at McGill. Richard Glassock further inspired him during his residency at Harbor-UCLA. Cecil Coggins and Joseph Bonventre supervised his clinical training in nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard, where, incidentally, Eric Bywaters trained, followed by leukocyte biology training with Amin Arnaout. After stints in Florida and Minnesota, Hamid has served at Johns Hopkins for the last 21 years in various roles, including Kidney Transplant Medical Director, Vice Chairman of Medicine, and Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Hamid Rabb’s pioneering basic research over the last 30 years has transformed understanding of the cellular and molecular basis for inflammation as an important mediator of AKI and AKI to CKD transition.

His team was the first to mechanistically unravel organ crosstalk pathways that mediate mortality during AKI. These discoveries led to his election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, and achievement awards from the American Transplant Society, American Nephrologists of Indian Origin, the Canadian government, and the Bangladesh Medical Association of North America. He has also received awards from the American Medical Association and Bangladesh Post-Graduate Institute for his work with underserved populations.

Dr. Hamid Rabb comments, “I am deeply appreciative and humbly receive this award.”

The Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize honors 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 winners are Alessandra Boletta and Albert Ong. The 2022 prize winners will be honored and present scientific talks in the Lillian Jean Kaplan Prize WCN session on Sunday, February 27, 2022, from 00:30-01:30 MYT (Saturday, February 26, 2022, from 17:30-18:30 CET).

Dr. Boletta graduated in Biology from the University of Pavia, Italy. She carried out her doctorate-equivalent training at the Mario Negri Institute in Bergamo, Italy, working on gene delivery to the kidney. She went to Johns Hopkins University, USA, for her postdoctoral training. Here, she began her scientific activity on Polycystic Kidney Disease, working on heterologous expression of Polycystin-1 aimed at establishing cellular models to investigate the Polycystins function.

With support from a Telethon Career Program and a Marie Curie Excellence Award, Dr. Boletta moved back to Italy to establish her lab at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan. Here, she took on the position of Director for the Division of Genetics and Cell Biology (2014-2019), and she is currently Head of the Research Unit. Over the years, her lab has developed several cellular and animal models to study Polycystins function and the pathophysiology of ADPKD. Her laboratory has identified metabolic reprogramming as an important feature of the disease, offering several new options for therapy as well as novel insights into the pathogenesis of ADPKD.

On receiving the award, Dr. Boletta commented, “I am greatly honored and deeply grateful.”

Dr. Albert Ong is Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Sheffield and a consultant nephrologist at the Sheffield Kidney Institute, UK. Born in Malaysia, he graduated from the University of Oxford with degrees in physiological sciences and clinical medicine and a doctorate in renal cell biology. Following a lecturership at University College London (UCL), he was awarded a Kidney Research UK Senior Research Fellowship in genetics at Oxford (Harris lab, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine), where he began working on the genetics and cell biology of ADPKD. After joining the University of Sheffield, he established a new research program in ADPKD, funded initially by a Wellcome Trust Research Leave Award.

The main aim of his laboratory over the past 20 years has been to investigate the molecular basis of cyst formation, in particular, the functions of the ADPKD proteins, polycystin-1, and polycystin-2, in cyst initiation. The focus of clinical research has been to identify key factors influencing variability in renal and extra-renal disease expression, and test new treatments and innovations to improve patient care. His international leadership roles have included OVERTURE, STAGED-PKD, SONG-PKD, KDIGO-PKD, EAF, and CYSTIC. He currently serves as a member of the ERA Council and the ISN Fellowship Committee.

Dr. Albert Ong comments, “I am honored and humbled to receive this award on behalf of my research and clinical teams at Sheffield. I wish to thank the Kaplan family for their generosity in funding this award and the ISN and PKD Foundation for considering me worthy of it. It has been an amazing privilege to have been a member of the worldwide PKD community over the past 25 years.”

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