Latest ISN News

ISN News is brought to you by category and is updated regularly. Please select a news category from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Stefaan Claus, RN

Nephrology Division, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium

Member of the ISN Kidney Health Professionals Working Group

In October 2019, the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) organized a Continuing Nurse Education (CNE) program at the Kenyatta University Hospital Nairobi, Kenya.

One year earlier, in 2018, Professor Marie Richards, along with the local nurses in the renal unit and the heads of the Renal Nurse Education, made an evaluation of nursing activities in the dialysis department. Vascular access (VA), hygiene and infection control, and the general organization of a dialysis department were considered to be top priority and the most urgent for support and education.

Because the mission was directed at the nursing activities and responsibilities in the VA program, a team was put together and headed by nurses, supplemented by a vascular surgeon. Regarding the set-up and the contents of the program, a deliberate choice was made to guide nurses in the practical implementation of their theoretical knowledge of VA. The best way to do so is through bedside teaching.

In order to thoroughly discuss the various aspects of an AV fistula within the scope of VA, we opted for the clinical pathway that is recommended in medical literature:

  • Prior to the visit, the local nephrologists selected 35 patients from a group that had already started haemodialysis with a central venous catheter, or patients in the terminal phase of kidney failure.
  • Vessel mapping: using Doppler ultrasound, the vascular system of their arms was identified. Local doctors and nurses have been taught to perform that technique. To the retained patients (n=21), markings were applied on the selected arm as an aiming point for the surgeon.
  • AV fistula creation: during this week, Dr. Simon Fraser performed 26 surgical procedures on 21 patients. In five cases, a reintervention was required.
  • The nurses were being taught the clinical approach of a newly created fistula on a daily basis, for which the method of ‘look, feel, and listen’ was used.
  • Since patient education and training are of major importance, we took ample time to demonstrate which role and responsibility nurses could possibly have in that sub-domain.
  • The technical issues that the nurses dealt with were discussed every day. In order to reinforce the problem-solving ability of the nurses, the complications were analyzed bedside while looking for the best solution.
  • During the nursing training of the clinical assessment of fistulas, the Doppler ultrasound device was used to visualize, confirm, or correct their findings.

Nurses play a key role in patient care. In low-income countries (LIC) in particular, in which there is a large shortage of medically-schooled staff, their responsibility reaches further than the standard norm. Therefore, such bedside teaching helps to advance the existing theoretical knowledge into practice. Respecting and accepting the local situation are of crucial importance. By taking aboard the nurses in the Kidney Health Professionals Working Group (KHPWG), and by supporting CNEs, the ISN demonstrates the importance of education and training for this target audience in LIC.

During this mission, we organized training and education in what is only one part of the total care for a nephrology patient. My hope for future years is to be able to deal with other components as well, such as hygiene and infection control, prevention of renal insufficiency, and other aspects of care.

Many thanks to the Kenyan renal nurses of Kenyatta University Hospital, Marie, Thandi, Nancy, Simon, Valerie, Jo-Ann, Liselotte, and many others.

coronation eblast top banner

The ISN invites members to register patients affected by COVID on the new global COVID registry.

The ISN collaborated with the University of Cambridge to develop CORONATION, the Coronavirus multinational observational registry, a data entry portal accessible to nephrologists worldwide to collect anonymous data on individual people with kidney disease and the COVID-19 infection.

The initiative was led by Dr. Thomas Hiemstra (Nephrologist and Trials Methodologist, University of Cambridge; Chair, ISN-ACT Committee) and Dr. Fergus Caskey (Consultant Senior Lecturer, Bristol Medical School; Chair, SharE-RR; ISN Executive Committee Member) in response to the growing need to gather data to advocate for those with kidney disease, particularly in light of the significant impact the COVID-19 virus is having on those with non-communicable diseases.

For more information, please visit ISN’s website section dedicated to COVID-19 resources or email

Monday, 03 August 2020 08:03

Nominate the next ISN President-Elect & Regional Board Deputy Chairs/Councillors (all 10 ISN regions)

Help shape the future of ISN: Nominate a potential candidate for the positions of 2021-23:

  • President-Elect, and
  • Regional Board Deputy Chairs/Councillors; 1 vacancy in each of the 10 ISN regions

As an ISN member, you can help advance kidney care worldwide by nominating candidates for ISN leadership positions. 

The ISN is committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We encourage nominations from eligible individuals across all regions, genders and ages!

Nominate a candidate for President-Elect

There is one (1) vacancy open for the position of 2021-23 ISN President-Elect.

  • Commitment: The ISN President-Elect deputises the President, who has the responsibility of leading the ISN in constant coordination with the Executive Committee. The President-Elect sits on the Executive Committee as voting member, and as a non-voting member of Council.

  • Term: The 2021-23 President-Elect’s term will start at the ISN World Congress of Nephrology 2021 (WCN’21), and continue until WCN’23, when the President-Elect will become President until WCN’25.

  • Eligibility: Every candidate for President-Elect must be a present or former member of the Executive Committee or Council, and an ISN Full member. Nominators too must be ISN members. Self-nominations are discouraged.

To nominate a potential candidate, please email Dominique Tudor by 31 August 2020 with:

  • the nominee’s name 
  • a short description of the nominee’s:
    • current/previous accomplishments as an ISN leader and volunteer, and
    • fit with the ISN mission, mind-set and spirit, based on concrete achievements

At this stage, no additional documents, CVs or other information are required. We will consider all nominees suggested, and request further documentation and information when necessary to assist our final decisions.

Nominate a candidate for Regional Board Deputy Chair/Councillor*

There is one (1) vacancy in each of the 10 ISN regions (listed below) for the position of 2021-23 ISN Regional Board Deputy Chair/Councillor.


* As Regional Board Chairs and Deputy Chairs cannot be from the same country, members from a country in which the current Deputy Chair resides (Cameroon, Czech Republic, Mexico, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Canada, Japan, Australia, Nepal and Italy) will be ineligible to stand for the 2021 elections. Members from the countries listed above are encouraged to be nominated for the 2023 elections.

  • Commitment: Regional Boards are the regional representations of the ISN. They are the “eyes and ears” of the ISN across its whole range of activities, and a major means of integration with Affiliated Societies. The Regional Boards are led by a Chair, and Deputy Chair. Regional Board Chairs and Deputy Chairs also sit on the ISN Council.

  • Term: Regional Board Deputy Chairs’/Councillors’ terms start at WCN’21, and continue until WCN’23, when they will become Regional Board Chair/Councillor until WCN’25.

  • Eligibility: Nominees must be ISN Full members. Nominators too must be ISN members. Self-nominations are discouraged.

To nominate a potential candidate for a Regional Board Deputy Chair/Councillor position, please complete the online nomination form and send the nominee’s short CV in English (max 4. pages, academic CV may be referenced, or included as an appendix) to Dominique Tudor by Monday, 31 August 2020. The form will take approximately 10 minutes to complete, as you will be required to answer specific questions regarding the leadership skills and specific achievements of your nominee.

Please read for other important information

Those nominees shortlisted by the Nominating Committee (by end November 2020) will form the slate of candidates for the 2021-23 leadership elections (scheduled to open in February 2021).

Don’t forget that in order to nominate a candidate (or be nominated), your ISN membership must be current. Ensure you don’t miss out on this ISN member privilege.

Renew your ISN membership

Learn more about ISN’s leadership groups, positions and governance in the ISN Bylaws.

Please direct any questions about the vacancies or process to Dominique Tudor.

Thanks for your support in helping shape the future leadership of ISN!

Yours sincerely,

 Carol Pollock
 Chair, ISN Nominating Committee         


How does the ISN meet the challenge of presenting the latest complex ideas in easy-to-understand nuggets of information?

Discover the @ISNeducation Social Media Team and the ISN WCN Social Media Team.

Read more

ISN WCN Social Media Team

Over the past decade, Social Media (SoMe) platforms have become increasingly popular to disseminate information from medical conferences. Twitter has become a notably favored platform for nephrologists to share content.

To ensure comprehensive coverage of congress lectures and presentations across SoMe platforms, a SoMe Task Force (SMTF) was created by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) at the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in Mexico in April 2017.

Now known as ISN WCN SoMe teams, these groups are created for all subsequent congress. The WCN’20 SoMe team has widely diffused scientific material from the WCN’20 congress program, which couldn’t take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.

@ISNeducation Team

After evaluating the work of the SoMe Task Force SMTF, the ISN decided to adopt its mission of providing comprehensive coverage of congress programs and activities as a core feature of its educational platform. 

The Social Media Task Force metamorphosed into the @ISNeducation Social Media Team and is now a component of the ISN Education Working Group.

Composed of both original SMTF members and new educators from around the world, @ISNeducation continues to present the latest complex ideas in an accessible way through a variety of social media platforms.

Discover the full story here.

The ISN is proud to provide educational resources to the international nephrology community. Become an ISN member and support our work.

Monday, 20 July 2020 08:41

Attend the ISN 2021 Frontiers Meeting

The International Society of Nephrology, in collaboration with the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, will hold the ISN 2021 Frontiers Meeting on ‘Complement-related kidney diseases: classification, genetics, and treatment’  from July 1-3, in Bergamo, Italy.

This specialist meeting will focus on the two prototypical complement-mediated kidney diseases: atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), and C3 Glomerulopathies/Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis (C3G/MPGN), giving scientists engaged in rare diseases the opportunity to speed up research and drug development in the field.

All ISN members are cordially invited to register to experience cutting-edge science presented by a global panel of clinical and scientific experts.

ISN encourages those directly involved in this area of expertise to reach a greater audience by submitting an abstract for the event.

Through its Continuing Medical Education (CME) Program, the ISN was pleased to contribute to the 32nd Scientific Conference and General Meeting, held by the Nigerian Association of Nephrology in February 2020, in Ibadan, Nigeria.

The ISN supported two speakers to lecture at the event: Rasheed Balogun, Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia Health System in the USA, and Prof. Hesham Safouh, Professor of Pediatric Nephrology at Cairo University in Egypt.

The three-day meeting was oriented toward a variety of healthcare practitioners involved in treating kidney diseases, including doctors, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and technicians. 6oo participants attended from around the country.

According to Aliyu Abdu, consultant nephrologist at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Secretary-General of the Nigerian Association of Nephrology, and co-organizer of the event, the overall aim was to improve patient care in the region, notably through the practical sessions that took place at the conference.

The conference was an opportunity to present the ISN Pioneer Award for the Africa region to Prof. Oladipo Olujimi Akinkugbe, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of nephrology.

Prof. Akinkugbe, who sadly passed away on June 15, 2020, was a widely published pioneer of nephrology in Africa responsible for training current leaders in the field in Nigeria. He instigated the establishment of two clinics at the UCH in Ibadan, one in hypertension and the other in renal disorders. Both clinics were firsts in Africa. The ISN offers its sincerest condolences to his family.

CME meetings, available to full ISN members, are designed to stimulate the interest of regional nephrology communities to expand their programs and networks and to inspire young professionals to become part of the ISN community.

Not yet a member? Need to renew your membership? Explore ISN membership packages here.

Monday, 20 July 2020 08:33

Global Trials

Every month the ISN-ACT Team lists interesting new randomized controlled trials from around the world.


  • Early ACE-inhibition is safe in pediatric Alport’s Syndrome and may be effective

See the latest trials here

Young ISN members from Bangladesh, Ghana, and Brazil reflect on their experiences on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read reflections from other young ISN members here.

Find resources relating to the COVID-19 infection here.

Reflections from Dhaka

Tania Mahbub, Consultant Nephrologist, ISN Fellow, United Hospital Limited, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Since it is a novel disease, the modus operandi of COVID-19 management has needed to change over time in Bangladesh in line with our country's needs and national guidelines of COVID-19 management.

Early in March 2020, when a handful of corona positive cases were detected, we focused mainly on prevention, educational programs for health workers regarding the management of the new disease, and updated training on personal protection.

For all patients coming to the hospital, including patients on dialysis, there is triage for preliminary screening. When patients present with suspected COVID-like symptoms, they are managed in separate zones. Direct OPD consultation is limited, and a telemedicine service has been developed to prevent disease spread from the OPD.

Special precaution was taken for the Dialysis Unit as a potential portal of infection. We’ve also educated the patients about preventive measures, symptoms of COVID-19, and advised them to seek help through telemedicine rather than coming directly to the Dialysis Unit. Throughout this period, we emphasize maintaining regular dialysis as volume overload may erroneously mimic the COVID infection. For emergency dialysis, we prefer Femoral Venous Catheterization instead of the Internal Jugular route. The use of complete PPE is mandatory during procedures.

Initially, COVID hospitals were designated in the country. When community transmission occurred on a large scale, the Health Authority decided to treat both COVID and non-COVID patients in all hospitals. We divided our hospital into COVID, non-COVID, and suspected COVID zones. Eventually, we started doing RT-PCR in our hospital. Currently, we are providing renal consultation, dialysis of COVID patients in the Critical Care Area, and have built a negative pressure isolation chamber for COVID positive dialysis patients.

In my experience, treating COVID and non-COVID patients in the same center is still challenging, especially when RT-PCR is not readily available, and waiting times to get test results are long. Further, a robust and integrated infection control strategy, surveillance, and logistical support are needed.

Sadly, many patients hide their actual history, thus posing a greater threat to physicians. As large-scale community transmission occurs, patients are now presenting with different symptoms and test COVID positive incidentally during screening. Sometimes highly suspected cases are found as COVID negative in an initial test, but subsequent test results prove positive. Therefore, I always emphasize wearing a proper N95 or equivalent mask/respirator to my fellow colleagues whenever they come into contact with any patient.

Bangladesh has unfortunately observed a high rate of physician deaths due to COVID-19 within a very short period. Therefore, priority measures need to be taken to find out the exact causes of their demise.



Patients are managed at the United Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh, during the COVID-19 pandemic

Reflections from Kumasi, Ghana

Greenshot 2020 07 23 11.00.30

Ever since we recorded our first two cases in Ghana on March 12, 2020, our COVID-19 cases have been rising.  According to the Ghana Health Services, as of June 28, we had 17,351 cases: 4,245 active cases, 12,994 recovered or discharged, and 112 deaths. We have tested 288,465 people so far, which is the third-highest rate in Africa after South Africa and Morocco.

There have been some government interventions to contain the COVID-19 virus. The first major intervention was the closure of the borders on March 22, 10 days after we recorded our first cases. Then a partial lockdown was declared in the epicenters from March 30 for three weeks to carry out aggressive contact tracing and minimize the spread of the virus. Although cases were still rising, the partial lockdown had to be lifted by the government due to social and economic hardships.

Restrictions on public and social gatherings were still in place, but these also eased as the president announced the lifting of the ban on religious activities with strict measures to govern services, such as a maximum duration of one-hour for up to 100 people and strict following of all safety protocols. The president encouraged social distancing and made the wearing of facemasks in public mandatory in Ghana, punishable by law, as additional restrictions were eased.

There is now a gradual effort to re-open schools. Final-year students in tertiary and secondary high schools resumed on June 15 to prepare their final examinations. On June 29, Junior High School final-year students resumed classes. School heads are expected to ensure all safety protocols.

My worry as a healthcare professional is the fact that there may be an escalation of cases, which might overwhelm our health institutions. Staff in most hospitals are decreasing as about 100 doctors have currently been infected with COVID-19. We have recorded two deaths from COVID-19, a Medical Director, and the renowned Nephrologist and Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Prof. Jacob Plange-Rhule. The Health Minister in Ghana has also tested positive for COVID-19.

With some people blatantly disregarding safety protocols after the easing of restrictions, and decreasing staff strength with inadequate provision of PPEs, I fear there will be more deaths from COVID-19 as cases increase. There is a possibility of an increase in the number of non-COVID-19-related deaths as a result of the shortage of staff due to self-isolation when exposed or overwhelmed with COVID-19 management, as written in an article I published, which was reported as a news item.

Unfortunately, this year is an election year for Ghana, and it’s worrying that political activities are going on with people flouting safety protocols of social distancing and wearing face masks. With the upcoming voters’ registration exercise starting on June 30 leading up to the elections in December 2020, we can only hope that these do not worsen the already increasing cases of COVID-19 in Ghana.

Reflections from Porto Velho, Brazil

Tatiara Bueno, Nephrologist, ISN Young Nephrologists Committee Member, SOS RIM clinic, Porto Velho, Rondonia, Brazil

Greenshot 2020 07 23 11.03.39

Three months ago, the coronavirus seemed to be a distant alert, but it quickly arrived in Brazil and had a different intensity among the macro-regions. Metropoles such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were the first to experience the impact of the pandemic. Porto Velho, the capital of the State of Rondônia, in Western Amazonia, was not exempt from the pandemic route. It is a city with almost 550,000 inhabitants.

New ICUs were progressively opened, health teams were trained, schools were closed, and commerce was reduced. But all efforts failed to contain the increase in sick patients with severe evolution, especially in obese and male patients.

Within weeks, all ICU beds were occupied. Nephrology was essential; a large proportion of patients, especially those on mechanical ventilation, needed dialysis.

The challenges gradually appeared: doctors and staff fell ill, supplies were lacking or cost significantly more, and hours of overtime began.

In dialysis clinics, disease transmission was high among patients and staff, and even though these patients received all the necessary intensive support, death was almost inevitable. It felt like we were in quicksand.

In the midst of so much sadness and tiredness, something caught our attention: the strong teamwork. We were surprised by the feeling of solidarity and partnership. Those involved in the nephrology and intensive care sectors were fully focused on making the whole process feasible. That gave us the extra strength needed to continue day after day. 

Today, we are still in the middle of the hurricane, but we continue to be united, and we are sure that all this will pass soon. We will look back and be proud to have faced the COVID pandemic as nephrologists on the front line.

 Greenshot 2020 07 23 11.05.54Greenshot 2020 07 23 11.06.06

Managing kidney patients in Porto Velho, Brazil, during the COVID-19 pandemic

Launched in 2007, the Young Nephrologists Committee (YNC) engages younger ISN members to shape the future of ISN.

Find out more about YNC activities and initiatives here.

The YN Committee consists of members representing ISN’s ten global regions.

Would you like to advance kidney health worldwide? Help ISN to navigate the future of kidney care: Become an ISN members and join the YNC!

The ISN and Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology (APSN) have sustained a successful collaboration over the last decade, working together to advance kidney care in the Asia-Pacific region.

ISN is pleased to share with members that the APSN’s 18th Asian Pacific Congress of Nephrology (APCN) will take place from 2-4 October 2020 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Because of ongoing uncertainties due to COVID-19, the local organizing committee will add a live online component to make this congress thefirst-everhybrid APCN.


The congress themeCombating CKD in the Asia Pacific: Local Strategies for a Global Problem, will embrace important topics on chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, glomerulonephritis, and advances in dialysis and transplantation.

To further enrich the program, abstract submissions forpapers related to COVID-19 have been accepted and experts from around the world in this emerging field have been invited to share their experiences.

Representing ISN participation, Germaine Wong will deliver ‘Clinical Care of COVID-19 Infection: Perspective of a Frontline Nephrologist’ in the Special Symposium: COVID-19 and Nephrology Practice on October 3. On October 4, ISN President-Elect Agnes Fogo will deliver the Chan Woon-Cheung Award Lecture, and ISN President Vivek Jha will present his talk, ‘Preventive Strategy for CKD based on Global Survey.’

ISN members may access the ISN-ACT (advancing clinical trials) Patient Engagement Working Group’s article, “International Perspectives on Patient Involvement in Clinical Trials in Nephrology,” published in KI on 9 July 2020.

The article highlights the important need to improve patient involvement in clinical trials to promote high-quality research in nephrology.

It describes also the current challenges to patient involvement in clinical trials, as well as the role of the ISN in promoting awareness of this need, and encouraging the development of tools and platforms to engage with patients.

Read the full article here.

Due to its timeliness, Seminars in Nephrology has made the current issue, Nephrology and Social Media, fully available to the public.

This issue focuses on the way medical professionals (#medtwitter) use Twitter and analyzes Twitter's role as a new tool for learning, teaching, networking, professional development, mentorship, sponsorship, and advocacy within medicine.

The edition examines the principles of adult learning theory to support the effectiveness of the use of Twitter as an educational tool and shares best practice tips.

ISN members can subscribe to Seminars in Nephrology at a special rate; visit the Seminars in Nephrology page for more information.

Stay connected in uncertain times.

Hosted by the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) and la Société Québécoise de Néphrologie (SQN), WCN’21 remains scheduled from April 15-18, 2021 in Montreal, Canada

The far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact the way we share knowledge. The ISN is adjusting to this reality and is closely monitoring developments and following advice from national and international authorities to implement all measures necessary.

WCN’21 will deliver the high-quality educational experience and opportunity for scientific discovery, networking, and professional development that you have come to expect, in a format that works for you!

Stay tuned for the latest developments at or via ISN social media platforms.

Submit an abstract for WCN’21 here.

In Episode 4 of the ISN Global Kidney Care Podcast (GKCP) series, the hosts converse with Hernando Trujillo and Angel Sevillano (Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre in Madrid, Spain) authors of the Kidney International Reports article, “SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Hospitalized Patients With Kidney Disease.”

The discussion considers the findings in the article and explores the professional and personal struggles both nephrologists faced at the height of Spain’s COVID-19 pandemic.

GKCP is hosted by Roberto Pecoits-Filho, Senior Research Scientist at Arbor Research Collaborative for Health in Michigan, USA; Deputy Chair, ISN Education Working Group, and Smeeta Sinha, Chair of North West England Renal Network.

Ethical challenges in nephrology: a call for action by the ASN/ERA-EDTA/ISN Joint Working Group on Ethical Issues in Nephrology, has been published in Nature Reviews Nephrology.

The paper identifies ten broad areas of ethical concern as priority challenges that require collaborative action to highlight the need for ethical analysis of issues within kidney care and to develop tools and training to support nephrologists to practice ethically and contribute to ethical policy-making.

Read the full paper here.

All three of the ISN journal websites (,, and have been converted from traditional article pages to a new responsive design format to better respond to the needs of readers and the devices they're using.

Friday, 03 July 2020 15:10

Milestones in Nephrology

Founding papers on current nephrology: from acute kidney injury to diabetic kidney disease

As part of ISN’s 60th-anniversary, Kidney International’s “Milestones in Nephrology” series highlights five significant contributions to acute kidney injury, diabetic kidney disease, and cell biology:

Glomerular hemodynamics in experimental diabetes mellitus (Hostetter TH, Troy JL, Brenner BM, 1981)

Effect of intensive therapy on the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) Research Group, 1995)

Kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1): a novel biomarker for human renal proximal tubule injury (Han WK, Bailly V, Abichandani R, et al. 2002)

HK-2: an immortalized proximal tubule epithelial cell line from normal adult human kidney (Ryan MJ, Johnson G, Kirk J, et al. 1994)

Identification of the renal erythropoietin-producing cells using transgenic mice (Maxwell PH, Osmond MK, Pugh CW, et al. 1993)

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to disproportionately impact people living with kidney disease. It is, therefore, more important than ever to monitor the care being delivered to patients with kidney diseases and to use data to advocate for those at risk of adverse outcomes.

Recognizing this, the ISN has launched several data collection initiatives over the past few months. In collaboration with the DOPPS Program team at the Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, Michigan, USA, the ISN will conduct a ‘practice patterns’ survey of the impact of COVID-19 on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis programs around the world.

The survey will be offered worldwide via the ten ISN Regional Boards.

Countries currently active within the DOPPS program will not need to repeat the survey; their data will be combined with the other countries to produce a global picture.

To discover more about ISN’s collaboration with DOPPS, please visit our website.

The International Society of Nephrology urges all investigators and industry partners to include people with kidney diseases in research activities related to COVID-19.

The ISN-ACT (Advancing Clinical Trials) Committee has released a statement on the urgent need to include patients with kidney diseases in clinical trials related to COVID-19.

Despite preliminary studies demonstrating the increased risk for people with kidney diseases to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms or to die from COVID-19, kidney patients are frequently excluded from COVID-19-related clinical trials. Effective therapies are needed to prevent and treat COVID-19 in all patients, including those with kidney diseases, and to reduce the current burden to healthcare systems.

Read the full statement here

ISN Educational Ambassador, Nitin Kolhe, consultant nephrologist at the University of Derby and Burton (UHDB) NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, spent a week at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe as part of the ISN Educational Ambassadors Program (EAP) in March 2020, before COVID-19 restrictions were in place.

UHDB nurses Sister Carol Rhodes and Sister Claire McGuire accompanied Dr. Kolhe on the visit. The aim was to train local staff in kidney biopsies and peritoneal dialysis services, and how to reduce infections.

According to Dr. Kolhe, patients in Bulawayo tend to present late with advanced kidney disease, and recognition of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease in primary care is poor. Patients are unable to receive peritoneal dialysis at Mpilo Hospital, and hemodialysis can be interrupted by frequent electricity loss and machine breakdowns. Patients may have to travel up to 300 kilometers for treatment and buy any equipment for dialysis themselves. 90% of patients are dialyzed on vascular catheters because no vascular surgeon can perform AV Fistula. Kidney biopsies have not been performed in public hospitals in Zimbabwe for more than two decades; they are only done in the private sector in Bulawayo because there is no formal renal biopsy program in government hospitals.

The team from UHDB provided teaching on recognizing acute kidney injury and investigating and managing chronic kidney disease in the community. Dr. Kolhe gave training on all aspects of performing kidney biopsy and setting up a peritoneal dialysis program.

Doctors and nurses received hands-on experience of inserting peritoneal dialysis catheters and scanning kidneys in three patients and one volunteer. Dr. Kajawo, a clinical nephrologist at Mpilo Hospital, performed two kidney biopsies under the guidance of Dr. Kolhe using real-time ultrasound guidance. A diagnosis based on a review of histology slides was made in a public hospital in Zimbabwe for the first time in more than 20 years.

Staff at Mpilo Hospital learned how to deal with potential complications following kidney biopsy in different case scenarios. The aseptic no-touch technique (ANTT) was demonstrated, as well as hand-washing techniques and the correct use of gloves.

The favorable exposure surrounding the visit helped raise awareness of the challenges in local kidney care. The Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Honorable Judith Ncube, pledged to support kidney health initiatives, promising to help Dr. Kajawo in procuring peritoneal dialysis fluids and kidney biopsy needles.

Dr. Kolhe was impressed with the dedication and goodwill of local doctors and nurses despite the sub-optimal working conditions. He has invited Dr. Kajawo, and his colleague Sister Pat, for a week of training at the Royal Derby Hospital. He comments: “For the Mpilo kidney unit, continuity is important. ISN is doing a wonderful job of educating the developing world. EAP equips local doctors with knowledge which they cannot afford to get.”

ISN Awards acknowledge exceptional contributions to nephrology and are a chance to celebrate individuals for their role in enhancing the field of nephrology and ISN’s mission to advance kidney health worldwide.

The deadline to submit nominations for the ISN 2021 Awards is August 27, 2020.

Discover more on ISN Awards and submit nominations HERE.

Read about the 2019 awardees here.

Reena Rachel George, RN, MSN

Professor, College of Nursing, and Nurse Manager, Dialysis Unit and Renal Transplant Unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. Member of the ISN Kidney Health Professionals Working Group

The incidence and prevalence of chronic kidney disease is increasing nationally and globally owing to the growing percentage of population living with diabetes and hypertension. 20-30% of patients with kidney failure in India are not initiated in any form of kidney replacement therapy (KRT) due to inaccessibility to healthcare facilities or financial constraints. Popularity for peritoneal dialysis (PD) is gaining momentum in India since its conception in the year 1991. The fact that PD therapy does not require vascular access or a healthcare facility and that it can be learned and performed by patients or their family members in their own homes makes it a viable and attractive option of KRT for many. The scope of PD nurses is immense as they can demonstrate autonomy in their roles as educators, counsellors, facilitators, patient advocates, and researchers. Nurses adequately trained in PD will be able to efficiently run PD programs in their setting in coordination with the nephrology team, incorporating evidence-based scientific knowledge.

The College of Nursing and Department of Nephrology at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, designed a short course on peritoneal dialysis nursing to give registered nurses (GNM and BSC) the specialized knowledge, skills, and competence to provide PD to patients with kidney failure. The course would also equip nurses to educate, train, and counsel patients and caregivers on various aspects of PD therapy. The 4-week course consists of 27 hours of structured theory, 153 hours of clinical practice, and would be offered multiple times throughout 2020.

Professor Reena George, course Coordinator, states: “Christian Medical College in Vellore, South India is a 2900-bed tertiary care teaching hospital with a well-established Dialysis unit. We have 70-80 patients initiated on Peritoneal Dialysis each year, having about 180 patients for training and follow up. The facility adheres to the international standards and protocols of care and has a nursing and medical faculty who are adept at teaching/training in PD. Our department provides an excellent opportunity for kidney health professionals from elsewhere to come and learn and hence this endeavour. A similar training program in hemodialysis training is also being planned.”

How do patients in the Nephrology Unit in Assiut, Egypt, feel about the impact dialysis has had on their lives?

How does a low-resource community in Kenya help a member who needs a kidney transplant?

How does a mother in Malaysia cope when her daughter develops kidney failure?

Discover these and other accounts in the shortlisted ISN Community Films and vote for an overall winner here.

The winner will be announced on June 26.

In 2019, ISN welcomed 40 Fellows from around the world. ISN congratulates all graduated fellows and presents here a sample of experiences to highlight the capacity building and impact to kidney care made possible through the ISN Fellowship Program.

Xu Chen, from the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China, trained for 12 months in Glomerular Disease, AKI, and CKD under mentorship from Jonathan Barratt at the John Walls Renal Unit in Leicester General Hospital in the UK with support from the ISN Fellowship Program and Kidney Research UK.

Xu Chen developed basic science and clinical research skills in the study of glomerular disease. She developed an in-depth knowledge of laboratory and clinical research in IgA nephropathy. In particular, she focused on comparing Caucasian and Chinese IgAN populations concerning biomarkers of disease.

According to Xu Chen, both the incidence and prevalence of kidney disease in her home region are on the increase, but effective therapeutic strategies for CKD are limited. Patients rely on dialysis and renal transplantation, which cannot prevent all the complications of CKD. An improved understanding of the nature of CKD progression is needed, as well as effective therapeutic methods.

Xu Chen received training in a range of laboratory and analytical methods in anticipation of leading a laboratory-based research program on her return to China. Xu comments: “I believe Nantong will benefit greatly by the increased exposure to research and clinical training offered by Leicester.”

The Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University collaborates on several initiatives with Leicester General Hospital through the ISN SRC Program.


Judith Aujo from the Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, spent two years training at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, under mentorship from Professor Mignon McCulloch and Dr. Peter Nourse, supported by ISN and the Salmasi Family.

Judith’s training focused on general pediatric nephrology, dialysis, and transplant. Her training highlighted the need to produce data to lobby governments for improved pediatric renal services and patient care.

According to Judith, kidney care in Uganda is generally poor. The prevalence of CKD is over 20%. There are around 11 nephrologists in Uganda for an estimated population of 39 million and no trained pediatric renal nurses. Most of the doctors and services are in the capital city; so, Judith’s home institution in Mulago receives referrals from across the country even though they have no designated area for pediatric dialysis, but access the service from the adult dialysis unit.

Judith plans to train others in her home institution, commenting: “It was a great opportunity for me to have this training. I have learned a lot, appreciated the many gaps in our healthcare systems back home, but also realize that things can be improved. I look forward to having other colleagues get this training opportunity so as to build bigger teams.”

Judith is currently at the forefront of running the pediatric renal services in Mulago and is working to establish a functional (acute) PD program. She will be involved in transplant activities when Mulago Hospital starts this service.

Professor McCullogh adds: “This is such an excellent program for training fellows in Africa. Judith benefitted from two years and really secured her knowledge and became confident.”

The Mulago National Referral Hospital has an SRC link with the Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Children’s Hospital in the US.


Maisarah Jalalonmuhali, from the University of Malaya in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia, trained under mentorship from Patrick Coates in kidney transplantation at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, with support from the ISN and CREED.

Maisarah was involved in several clinical research projects as part of her training objectives. Her paper: Serum Free Light Chain as Surrogate Marker For Renal Activity In Lupus Nephritis won third place in the Fellowship Program Awards at WCN 2019.

Maisarah was able to conduct hands-on laboratory immunology tests and became confident in managing pre and post-transplant care, immunology interpretation, and long-term complications following transplantation.

According to Maisarah Jalalonmuhali, there is good dialysis support in Malaysia, but kidney transplantation knowledge needs developing. She says her training will help improve transplant care and believes the number of transplants in Malaysia will increase. She comments: “It was a great fellowship program with many opportunities and exposure regarding kidney transplants.”


Nirajan Mainali, from the Nobel Medical College Teaching Hospital in Biratnagar, Nepal, trained in renal and transplantation pathology under mentorship from Dr. Kim Solez from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Nirajan gained extensive experience in native kidney and transplant kidney pathology as well as in composing kidney biopsy reports. According to Dr. Solez, Nirajan “became an excellent renal pathologist” during his time at the University.

Nirajan submitted two case studies from his training as abstracts for WCN20 that were accepted for presentation as posters.

According to Nirajan, renal pathology services in Nepal are limited. He aims to establish a renal lab there and believes his training will help make a noticeable difference in the region. He comments: “It was a great program.”


Francisco Vargas, from Hospital Doctor Arnulfo Arias Madrid in Panama City, Panama, trained in clinical nephrology and renal transplantation and dialysis under mentorship from Dr. Manuel Praga at the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, in Madrid, Spain, with support from the ISN and SLANH.

As part of his training, Francisco spent two months in transplant consultation following up on post-operative kidney transplant patients and assisting in the treatment of patients with other organ transplants referred to the nephrology department. Francisco was impressed by the collaboration between the nephropathology group and nephrologists as well as with other surgical teams to obtain the best results for patients. He comments: “From the moment I arrived in Madrid, the treatment offered by Dr. Prague and his team of nephrologists and residents was excellent. I was quickly integrated into daily work and teaching. I will be eternally grateful to the Nephrology service of the 12 de Octubre Hospital.”

According to Francisco, there is an epidemic of patients with CKD in Panama and an increasing number of patients who have difficulty accessing the dialysis they need. Panama City requires three or four additional hemodialysis rooms, and the number of transplants has fallen dramatically over the past five years.

Francisco plans to advocate for the development of nephropathology services in Panama and the need to update treatment and care protocols in clinical nephrology and renal transplantation. He wants to encourage new professionals to specialize in nephrology and is currently teaching Nurses and Postgraduates in his home institution.

Young ISN members continue to work on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rhys Evans, a member of the ISN Young Nephrologists Committee, asked young ISN members from India, Ecuador, and Nigeria, to reflect on their experiences.

Read reflections from other young ISN members here.

Find resources relating to the COVID-19 infection here.

Reflections from Chandigarh, India

Joyita Bharati, Assistant Professor, Chandigarh, India

Health care systems across the world are bearing the brunt of COVID-19. Cases continue to increase in India despite the country being in an extended lockdown of all non-essential services since March 24, 2020.

The fear of transmission of COVID-19 led to the closure of many private dialysis units across the country and, hence, many patients were under-dialyzed or not dialyzed at all. We get referrals from various states and the number of patients who present with symptoms due to inadequate dialysis has increased remarkably. Most of them are patients on chronic dialysis and present with increasing shortness of breath, with or without fever. Once tested for COVID-19, these patients are shifted to a designated COVID-19 wing of the hospital. While waiting for the COVID-19 report, which takes a few hours, most of them need urgent dialysis.

There is a significant overlap between pulmonary edema-related bilateral lung shadows and COVID-19 pneumonia-related bilateral lung shadows. Most often, patients with fluid overload do not manifest characteristic lung shadows with peripheral sparing, and lung ultrasound B-lines used to monitor patients, along with bilateral involvement, are present in both conditions. Moreover, septal thickening and pleural effusion are also seen in severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Unless the patient has multi-organ dysfunction with hematological involvement, excluding COVID-19 pneumonia in a chronic dialysis patient, especially if previously inadequately dialyzed, is difficult.

In the absence of universal and standard testing policies, appropriate allocation and adherence of personal protection equipment are likely to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 in dialysis units and allay fear amongst private centers catering to large patient populations.

Reflections from Cuenca, Ecuador

Diego Coronel Aguilar, Nephrologist, Cuenca, Ecuador

I am a Nephrologist in Cuenca, Ecuador. Cuenca is the third biggest city in Ecuador. Currently, we have 43120 cases in Ecuador, and about 3621 deaths with PCR tests confirmed mostly in Guayaquil. The situation is getting worse every day because the number of cases is increasing around the country. The number of cases in Cuenca is 884.

We have two main hospitals in the city. I work in one of them, Hospital Jose Carrasco Arteaga (Figure 1), which is a public hospital. Unfortunately, at the moment, the situation does not seem under control because the hospital has a lot of COVID-19 patients and the number of cases is changing every week. The number of patients in ICU is variable: the unit has a total of 12 beds, but at this time, no beds are available.

Nephrologists here are currently part of a back-up team in case the situation becomes critical. We received training courses on the clinical management of COVID-19 and the orotracheal technique. At the same time, we are doing night shifts to support the main COVID-19 team in general patient care.

Within the nephrology department, we have not had many cases yet: one kidney transplant patient, one chronic dialysis patient, and two with acute kidney injury, out of approximately 25 patients in total. I think, in the beginning, we had the situation under control because the population was strictly following the government recommendations to quarantine and practice social distancing and good hygiene. But these measures are being progressively lifted.

I also work in a dialysis unit where we carry out triage and isolate patients with respiratory symptoms until the test for COVID-19 can be done. If the test is positive, the patient has to be isolated in the unit or a specific area within the unit. We’ll see how the situation goes, but to be honest, I am not very optimistic!

Hospital Jose Carrasco Arteaga, Cuenca, Ecuador

Reflections from Ife, Nigeria

Oguntade Hameed, Senior Registrar, Nephrology Unit, Obafemi Amolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ife, Nigeria

The COVID-19 pandemic is, without a doubt, the most challenging health issue at the moment. This disease has disproportionately affected developed countries with more robust health systems.

Nigeria is a country with an estimated population of around 180 million. The country recorded its first case on February 27, 2020, and has since confirmed 12, 486 cases with 354 deaths.

I work in the Renal Unit at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital as a Senior Nephrology Registrar. The dialysis unit is the biggest in the state, carrying out around 90 dialysis sessions per month.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the unit has developed a protocol with timely updates. Firstly, the unit organized a sensitization and awareness lecture for its members: doctors, nurses, health attendants, and biomedical engineers working in the unit. After that, a protocol was developed that make the use of face masks mandatory for staff and patients in and around the dialysis room. Regular hand washing is emphasized, and patients and visitors must wash their hands before gaining access to the dialysis room and the renal wards. The unit procured PPE that includes disposable surgical gowns, goggles, and face shields to be used by all staff working in the dialysis room.

The unit has tested five suspected cases based on symptomatology and travel history. All five samples returned negative. The unit continues to promote behavior to prevent COVID-19 while making PPEs available to all health workers and, where any case is suspected, prompt testing is carried out.



ISN BetterTogether COVIDAs COVID-19 continues to have a global impact, the ISN reached out to its members around the world to hear about the crisis in their own words. Below are some first-hand accounts.

What has your experience been so far? ISN members are encouraged to tell us on Twitter or Facebook using #ThisIsISN and have your testimonial added here.

“During the quarantine period, my life has been frantic: taking care of children and homeschooling, increased workload, and living closely with the suffering of patients with COVID and their families; also participating in organizing the conversion of our Brazilian Congress of Nephrology into virtual form ... quarantine for health professionals without time to look back...let's keep going ...” D. Machado (Brazil)

“While people were locked down at home, my hospital became busier. I had to balance working from home in virtual clinics at night with seeing patients in the hospital in the morning. I enjoyed my rest time with my wife and kids at home.” Ahmed Akl (Egypt)

“During this time, I realized that nature is more powerful than us and can easily get rid of humankind if it wants to.” S. Bek (Turkey)

“In this pandemic time, I work mostly from home completing my last month in nephrology training, spiritedly finalizing my Advanced CNC from ISN-ANIO, and excitedly retraining my rusty cooking skills.” R. Duarsa (Indonesia)

“Lockdown made me rediscover a) my neurosurgeon husband's cooking and b) music and movies in my mother tongue.” U. Anandh (India)

“In these chaotic days, when you are overwhelmed by the context and the day-to-day exhausting work... there is nothing like getting home and feeling the love of your family, they heal everything.” A. Pastor (Peru)

“I was an intern when all hell broke loose with AIDS in 1982. Now, I’m a senior nephrologist on a COVID-19 service. Many lessons to be learned and relearned… don’t fear the virus, respect it. Move forward in a mission of service with humility, grace, and dignity for all.” K. Tuttle (USA)

Due to the critical COVID-19 situation, we were obliged to reshape our planned activities changing from face-to-face interactions to virtual ones. After brainstorming ideas between the teams, we decided to organize a set of webinars with useful information and exchange of personal experiences facing colleagues in our respective hospitals. Given the situation where Spain has passed the crisis, but the Philippines are in the middle of it, we believe that these webinars will give ideas and support to our Filipino colleagues in dealing with this situation.” E. Kondi (Spain)

Among my lasting memories of this strange time will be carefully passing food to my wife in the bedroom through a barely opened door while she was isolated pending swab results. She has been ‘query COVID’ three times now, but fortunately, she has never tested positive. The dog had a great time running between us (via the cat flap) as we competed for the affection of this furry fomite.” Brendan Smyth (Australia)

These days, finding the right balance between hospital assistance and home studies has become a hard task. I joined my children’s violin lessons to better cope with the uncertainty and anxiety. Additionally, I have strengthened ties with the ISN Education group to keep focused on a scientific view of the pandemic.” Augusto Cesar S. Santos Jr. (Brazil)

During this pandemic, I have realized that there is always a way to improve our health system. COVID-19 does not discriminate and does not look at race, sex, age, skin color, socioeconomic status, or educational level.  It continues to teach us that we are just humans and that in order to achieve change, it is necessary to teamwork.” Angie Aguilar Gonzales Lizet (Guatemala)

I am a nephrologist and involved in the care of COVID-19 cases too. Patients are developing oliguric AKI and proteinuria. Dialysis is affected as we are using alternate machines to keep a safe distance. I think the biggest challenge is that we don’t have treatment. My personal opinion is that we should do an autopsy on every mortality, which will help understand the disease’s pathophysiology in a better way.” Sourabh Sharma (India)

Biggest fear is the increased risk of transmitting the infection to loved ones.” Priti Meena (India)

I review most patients admitted to the isolation ward with my medical officers. The majority are asymptomatic, a few have mild symptoms, and I’ve had two with pneumonia, none with renal involvement. I am the only nephrologist working in the center. Three of my patients are diabetic and faced with the challenge of detailed investigations due to limited resources, for example, renal ultrasonography, urinary albumin creatinine ratio, shortage of manpower, including lab staff.” Osariemen Osunbor (Nigeria)

I am working as Head of Nephrology Unit in Makassed Hospital. Our hospital has a capacity of 300 beds as well as its tertiary hospital in Palestine. We prepared an independent department for COVID-19, but up till now, we do not have COVID-19 inpatients in our hospital. We prepared and trained the team well to deal with them.” Mohammad Bourini (Palestine)

Dialysis patients, as well as Nephrologists, are being affected in the dialysis unit.” Dr. Abu Zafor Md. Salahuddin (Bangladesh)

The COVID-19 pandemic compelled me to change my daily routine. I have started learning new skills from the internet. Reading non-COVID-related articles as much as possible!” Shubbarthi Kar (Bangladesh)

Being a nurse manager in a dialysis unit, having to plan dialysis sessions separately for positive, suspected, and regular patients, and planning optimal staffing, was challenging. This was also a period when, as teachers, we had to explore and experiment with various online modes of teaching for students. However, this season also allowed experiments in cooking, gardening, and quality time with family members!” R. George (India)

As a solo nephrologist in my hospital, which turned out to be a COVID-19 hospital, my working hours increased from 8 hours to 10-12 hours daily, 24/7 on-call, working every day including weekends, for more than two months. Even though I'm physically and mentally exhausted, once I'm back home, I have the full support of my family, and I thank GOD we're all well and safe.” B. Bernieh Al Ain (UAE)

"During this period, though we had a hard time at the hospital taking care of COVID-19 patients, I had a lesser number of regular patients to visit, less travel for work, no social meetings to take part in, and more time to spend with my family, cook, read, and rest. It felt like being on a dangerous vacation!" S. Ossareh (Iran)

Having teleconferences with my colleagues working from home has provided a ‘window’ into their personal lives, and I have enjoyed seeing their home surroundings and occasionally their children and pets.” J. Donner (Canada)

The ISN is proud to provide a platform for the international community to share resources, guidance and experiences in times of crisis. 

Become an ISN member today and support our work.

#Bettertogether #ISNFamily

ISN is pleased to invite you to the KDIGO Diabetes in CKD Guideline Webinar: Looking at the Latest Evidence and Beyond, to be held on Monday, June 22, 2020 at 06:00 PM CEST.

Join the webinar to learn more about the new KDIGO Guideline on Diabetes Management in CKD, focusing on topics such as glycemic monitoring and targets, lifestyle and anti-hyperglycemic interventions, and approaches to self-management and optimal models of care.

  Date: June 22, 2020
  Time: 6:00 PM CEST
Register Now

To learn more, watch the video introduction to the new KDIGO Diabetes Guideline below.



Ian de Boer

Ian de Boer, MD, MS
(Work Group Co-Chair)

Ian H. de Boer is Professor of Medicine and adjunct professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, USA. Dr. de Boer received his medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University. He trained in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and in nephrology at the University of Washington, where he also earned a master’s degree in epidemiology. Dr. de Boer practices nephrology at the Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and is an associate director of the Kidney Research Institute at the University of Washington.

Dr. de Boer’s research focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and its complications. His epidemiology work has helped define the clinical course of kidney disease in types 1 and 2 diabetes, including prevalence, incidence, risk factors, outcomes, relationships with cardiovascular disease, and the impact of diabetes treatments; his additional work also employs patient-oriented physiology research and clinical trials. Dr. de Boer has published more than 300 manuscripts in the field and was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation for these research contributions. He served on the American Diabetes Association Professional Practice Committee from 2016-2019, chairing the complications subgroup which oversaw development of the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, and is currently deputy editor of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Living with Diabetes and CKD

Tami Sadusky

Tami Sadusky, MBA
(Work Group Member)

Tami Sadusky received a pancreas and kidney transplant in 1993 and a second kidney transplant in 2011. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13 and, within 20 years, had developed complications from the disease, including kidney failure. The transplants brought her a new life.

Tami received her BS and MBA degrees prior to moving to Washington, where she worked at the University of Washington (UW) for 22 years as executive director of Research Finance and Operations. She is now an active volunteer in the areas of organ donation and transplantation and has been invited to speak about her patient experience both pre- and post-transplant. She is on the board of directors for Transplant House, a non-profit organization that provides housing for transplant patients. She is an active member of the UW Transplant Advisory Council, the UW Kidney Education and Support Group, the UW Team Transplant Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, the Kidney Research Institute Advisory Council, and works closely with the Northwest Kidney Centers. Three years ago, Tami established a UW gift fund, the Sadusky Diabetes Kidney Research Fund, which supports diabetes and kidney research.

Tami has been involved with KDIGO for the past two years developing the KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease.

Management of Diabetes in CKD

Peter Rossing

Peter Rossing, MD, DMSc
(Work Group Co-Chair)

Peter Rossing is a clinician researcher devoted to complications in diabetes with a focus on renal and cardiovascular complications. He obtained a specialist degree in internal medicine and endocrinology in 2004. Since 2007, he has been a chief physician and manager of the Steno Diabetes Center research team dedicated to the research of micro and macrovascular complications of diabetes.

As a professor in diabetic angiopathy at the University of Copenhagen since 2012, Dr. Rossing has conducted epidemiological studies investigating key features of the pathophysiology of the diabetic kidney at different stages. He has identified several markers for the development of diabetic nephropathy, making it possible to predict individual risk. Dr. Rossing has been involved in several intervention studies in patients with overt diabetic nephropathy aiming at improving the prognosis.

He is the coordinator of the EU FP7 project, PRIORITY, demonstrating that urinary proteomics can be used to stratify the prevention of renal complications in type 2 diabetes, and the Novo

Nordisk Foundation grant, PROTON, aiming at personalizing prevention of diabetic nephropathy.

He has co-authored over 420 papers, and his h-index is 69. He received the Minkowski prize in 2005, the Golgi prize in 2016 (both from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]), and the E. Bierman award from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Dr. Rossing has also served as president of the Danish Endocrine Society and the European Diabetic Nephropathy Study group, and as chairman of the Danish National Diabetes Registry.

Management of CKD in Diabetes

Katherine R. Tuttle

Katherine R. Tuttle, MD, FASN, FACP, FNKF
(Work Group Member)

Katherine R. Tuttle is the executive director for research at Providence Health Care, co-principal investigator of the Institute of Translational Health Sciences, and professor of medicine at the University of Washington, USA. Dr. Tuttle earned her medical degree and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. She was a fellow in Metabolism and Endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Her Nephrology fellowship training was performed at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Tuttle’s major research interests are in clinical and translational science for diabetes and CKD. She has published over 200 original research contributions and served two terms as Associate Editor for the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and the American Journal of Kidney Disease. Dr. Tuttle has received many honors and awards, including the Medal of Excellence from the American Association of Kidney Patients, Garabed Eknoyan Award from the NKF, the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award in Science, and two Outstanding Clinical Faculty Awards at the University of Washington. Dr. Tuttle served on the Board of Directors for the Kidney Health Initiative and has chaired numerous kidney and diabetes-related working groups and committees for organizations including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)/NIH, the NKF, the American Society of Nephrology, the ISN, and the ADA.

Join the KDIGO Webinar

Register Now
Tuesday, 02 June 2020 08:00

Honoring the Past, Welcoming the Future

Honoring the Past, Welcoming the Future:
Experience the ISN Timeline

As part of the ISN’s 60th year celebrations, I am pleased to share with you a short video highlighting some of the Society’s recent achievements. These have been made possible by the passion and commitment of ISN members, steady supporters, and visionary leaders.

A unique role in global nephrology:
The International Society of Nephrology 2011-2020 

ISN Past-President John Feehally traces the evolution of the ISN's vision for meeting the challenges of the 21st century in his narration of history of the Society in “A unique role in global nephrology: The International Society of Nephrology 2011-2020”, published in the Kidney International.

The ISN continues to fulfil its role in addressing the most pressing global challenges in delivery of kidney care through its capacity building programs, continued education of all kidney health professionals, supporting research, advocating for optimal kidney health through initiatives such as 0by25, and partnering with other organizations including the WHO.

The Kenya Renal Association (KRA) and the Guatemalan Association of Nephrology (AGN) have joined the ISN as Collective Societies further strengthening a mutual commitment to the advancement of kidney care.

Collective Society status increases global activity and visibility through ISN endorsement, priority consideration for managing joint events, and complimentary participation in the Global Village at the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN).

In addition, for a tailored fee, individual members of these societies enjoy full membership benefits including Kidney International journals, special event rates, and education at the ISN Academy.

ISN looks forward to working closely with KRA and AGN to advance kidney health worldwide – together.

If you would like more information about the benefits of collective membership, please send an email to

On May 18, 2020, the ISN represented the global kidney health community at the 73rd session of the WHO’s World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

At this historic WHA, which took place virtually due to COVID-19-related restrictions, delegates adopted a landmark resolution to press for solidarity in addressing the pandemic.

The resolution calls for a joint and intensified effort to control the spread of the virus and to ensure access to COVID-19 treatments and future vaccines.

Working alongside the NCD Alliance and larger advocacy network, the ISN contributed to the WHA 73 discussions and achieved the important goal of including the NCD’s perspective within the resolution by issuing a joint statement, as well as the official ISN statement.

The ISN holds a long-standing relationship with the WHO and reiterates the need for a global health agency. The WHA provides an excellent platform for all stakeholders, including civil society organizations such as the ISN, to deliver statements and advocate for an inclusive approach to health, especially during pandemics such as the current COVID-19 crisis.

ISN Statement

Global Coalition for Circulatory Health Statement

Friday, 29 May 2020 12:32

KDIGO Report to be published in Kidney International and Kidney International Reports

KDIGO’s Nomenclature for Kidney Function and Disease Conference Report and Glossary will be released in the June issue of Kidney International. An executive summary and glossary will be published in KI Reports.

The KDIGO consensus conference took place in June 2019 providing a platform to discuss standardizing and refining kidney-related terminology to be more patient-centered and precise and to align communication in clinical practice, research, and public health.

Friday, 29 May 2020 12:26

WCN’21 Abstract Submission Is Open

Stand out in your field – submit an abstract for WCN’21

Submission deadline: November 18, 2020 Find out more and submit your abstract here.

Nominate a Candidate for the ISN 2021 Awards

Do you know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to nephrology? Nominate them for an ISN Award before August 27, 2020:

Send your nominations, supporting materials, and questions to the ISN Awards Coordinator.

Read about the 2019 ISN Award winners here.

In 2017, the ISN and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN) signed a memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a partnership to advance kidney care in the Asia Pacific region.

Since then, the ISN and ANZSN have successfully co-funded ISN Programs, including Sister Renal Centers, Clinical Research, and Educational Ambassadors Program, as well as Fellowships and CME meetings.

The ISN-ANZSN collaboration within the SRC program achieved notable success in Fiji. A paper produced by the emerging hospital in the program, demonstrating that Fiji has one of the highest rates of end-stage kidney disease worldwide, was pivotal in obtaining government funding to set up a National Kidney Research and Treatment Centre to improve access to kidney care in the region.

In 2018, an ISN CME meeting was held in collaboration with the ANZSN and the APSN in Samoa highlighting the importance of early detection of AKI and screening for and managing patients with CKD in a region where kidney disease is a growing burden.

In 2019, the ISN World Congress of Nephrology was co-hosted by the ANZSN and the APSN. The ANZSN provided substantial support toward travel grants for delegates from low and middle-income countries to attend the event.

In 2020, the ISN endorsed the ANZSN 2020 Home Dialysis Conference, which brought together health care professionals, carers, and patients from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific to focus on building and developing home-based dialysis therapies.

ISN President, Vivek Jha, states: “This partnership reinforces the ongoing cooperation between the two societies to support the growth of nephrology in the Asia Pacific region. The successful organization of WCN19, which drew the attention of the global nephrology community to kidney health issues in the region, is an example.”

Thursday, 28 May 2020 10:50

ISN Welcomes New Chairs for the:

 Kidney Health Professionals Working Group


Sister Renal Centers Committee


ISN Advancing Clinical Trials (ACT) Committee


Outgoing Chair

Paul Bennett

“Nephrology nurses and allied health professionals are the largest professional nephrology group, and the development of the ISN Kidney Health Professionals Working Group has been an important ISN initiative recognizing this group’s vital role. It has been an honor to serve as the working group’s Chair from 2018 to 2020. The commitment of the working group’s members in these foundation years has produced a momentum that will no doubt be enhanced under the leadership of Michele Trask.”

Incoming Chair

Michele-Anne Trask

“I am excited for the future of the Kidney Health Professionals Working Group. We have an amazing team and I know we are going to make incredible things happen. It is truly an honor to have been elected Chair of this group.”


David Harris, Chair of ISN Programs, offers thanks to Peter Kerr and welcomes Marcelo Orias: 



“On behalf of the ISN and the ISN Programs Committee, I would like to thank Peter Kerr for his outstanding leadership of, and commitment to, the Sister Renal Center Program over the last three years. With Peter at the helm, the SRC program has gone from strength to strength. We are very grateful for the generous personal time commitment he has made to ensure the success of the SRC program.”
Outgoing Chair
Peter Kerr
“Marcelo Orias will be replacing Peter as Committee Chair, with Chih-Wei Yang, as Deputy Chair. Together with the SRC Committee Members, they will guide implementation and provide advice related to the SRC Program, which is a key component of the overall capacity building effort of the ISN and strives to bring essential teaching and training to doctors and healthcare practitioners in low resource countries. We congratulate them on their appointment and look forward to working with them.”
Incoming Chair
Marcelo Orias


Adeera Levin, Chair of the ISN Research Working Group, offers thanks to Vlado Perkovic, outgoing Chair of the ISN-ACT Committee and Louise Moist, Outgoing Chair of the ISN-H4KH Initiative, and welcomes Thomas Hiemstra as Incoming Chair of the ISN-ACT Committee:


“ISN and the Research Working Group extend heartfelt thanks to Vlado Perkovic. His renowned expertise in clinical trials and leadership role have been critical over the last five years in the setting-up and development of the Committee aimed at facilitating high-quality clinical trials and studies in nephrology. During his leadership, great initiatives such as the Global Focus List and the ISN-ACT Toolkit have emerged. He has made an outstanding contribution in his support of the ISN.”
Outgoing Chair
Vlado Perkovic
“I welcome Thomas Hiemstra as the new Chair of the ISN-ACT Committee, taking over from Vlado Perkovic. Thomas Hiemstra was the Deputy Chair of the ISN-ACT Committee. Based at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Thomas has co-led the development of the ISN-ACT Toolkit. A clinical trialist, with expertise in trial design, conduct, analysis, and reporting, he co-leads the UK Renal Trials Network (UKRTN). Alongside the ISN-ACT Committee members, he will continue to improve global nephrology community participation in clinical trial research through a series of activities and initiatives.”
Incoming Chair
Thomas Hiemstra
(United Kingdom)

“The ISN thanks Louise Moist as the outgoing chair of the ISN-H4KH (Hydration for Kidney Health) Initiative. Her leadership has been essential in implementing this initiative aimed at stimulating the interest of established and new researchers to explore the role of hydration in kidney health. With the support of the ISN-H4KH Committee members and her precious guidance, all selected ISN-H4KH grant awardees successfully carried out their projects. Her commitment and energy have been greatly appreciated.”
Outgoing Chair
Louise Moist
ISN-H4KH initiative Chair

The ISN Global Kidney Care Podcast (GKCP) , to be launched this month, will initially focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over time, the GKCP will provide content on science, research, and clinical aspects of nephrology, including:

  • Case-Based Discussions
  • Paradox Nephrology
  • Everyday Nephrologists
  • Latest Kidney International and Kidney International Reports Papers

The GKCP will be available via numerous podcast platforms and apps, including Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Podcast. All episodes will be free and open access.

Listen to ISN Podcast

On May 17th 2020, the ISN was proud to attend the 73rd World Health Organization General Assembly as the global leading society representing nephrology and renal healthcare. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Assembly is taking place as a de minimis meeting,

At the Assembly, ISN joined discussions on the adoption of the COVID-19 Resolution. As part of our dedicated advocacy campaign to advance kidney health worldwide, ISN participation is crucial in calling for a timely treatment of acute and chronic kidney disease: due to the current pandemic, renal patients are likely to face interruption or unavailability of life-saving treatments such as dialysis and transplant.

To download our statement, please click here.

Has someone you know made a true difference to kidney care or research? Are they especially dedicated to the patient cause in their country or region? Show your appreciation by nominating them for an ISN award.

As an ISN member, you can nominate candidates for the following awards:

Award winners will be recognized at The ISN World Congress of Nephrology 2021 taking place from April 15-18 in Montreal, Canada. ISN Pioneer Awards are handed out during regional events throughout the year.

Nominations are open until August 27, 2020.

  • Review the links above for each award’s nomination requirements
  • Send all nominations, supporting materials, and questions to the Awards Coordinator
  • Candidates do not need to be ISN members
  • You must be an ISN member to nominate a colleague. If you are not yet a member, learn about our membership packages and join the ISN community today!

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

The majority of patients with kidney disease in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are thought to present to sub-tertiary hospitals. Therefore, the capacity of these healthcare facilities to manage kidney disease is an important consideration.

Young ISN Member, Dr. Grace Igiraneza (Rwanda), who undertook an ISN Fellowship at Yale University, recently investigated the capacity of sub-tertiary hospitals to manage kidney disease in Rwanda. Her research findings, published in Kidney International Reports, can be read here.

Two other Young ISN Members, Dr. Rhys Evans (United Kingdom), ISN Young Nephrologist Committee Member, and Dr. Chimota Phiri (Malawi), ISN African Regional Board Member, comment on the importance of this work in this associated article.

Dr. Igiraneza outlines the key findings from her research in response to the questions below:

Why did you undertake this research?

While pursuing my nephrology fellowship, the more I learned about the complexity of kidney diseases and the economic burden related to its management or lack thereof, I realized how quality kidney care is an important health need especially in developing countries that are already struggling with limited resources.

 Acute kidney injury, if diagnosed and treated on time, can be reversed. As a nephrologist working in LMIC, I like to think that if we focus on optimizing the prevention and management of AKI, we will save many lives despite limited resources. There are international and national guidelines to diagnose and treat AKI, but are hospitals in LMIC equipped to follow those guidelines?

 Therefore, my study tried to address important questions such as: “What is the existing capacity for and what challenges do health facilities and providers face in managing AKI patients?” These questions inspired me to undertake the study to understand the current state of AKI care in sub-tertiary hospitals

What did you do?

The study was designed to assess ten sub-tertiary hospitals across the country, including at least 2 hospitals in each of the 4 provinces of the country. Using a pre-designed checklist, partly inspired by KDIGO AKI guidelines, we evaluated the capacity of the hospitals to provide accurate and appropriate diagnosis and management of AKI. Simultaneously, we conducted a knowledge assessment survey on AKI prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of providers using clinical vignettes.

What did you find?

The findings show that sub-tertiary hospitals have limited capacity in terms of diagnosis and treatment of AKI, especially in dialytic treatment. The providers at these facilities demonstrated substantial knowledge gaps in both the recognition and management of AKI.

How do you hope the findings of your work will impact kidney care in Rwanda and other LMICs in the region?

Understanding the challenges and gaps in health systems in LMIC is key in guiding interventions needed to improve kidney care. The study highlighted the urgent need to train healthcare providers. This is likely to be the next project for the Rwanda Renal Society and other stakeholders.

When a country identifies an urgent need, it is up to them to determine how best to address it and how quickly to do so. The findings of this study can guide policymakers and nephrologists in LMICs to develop sustainable and achievable strategies to improve AKI care at a sub-tertiary level.

How did your ISN Fellowship facilitate this work?

The ISN offered me the opportunity to train at Yale University, a renowned and outstanding training program. Training under dedicated and knowledgeable mentors has not only allowed me to learn clinical nephrology but also to look at kidney care from a global health standpoint and appreciate the disparities in health care access. The initial one-year training program was extended to 18 months which allowed me to incorporate research into my training. I am grateful to the ISN for believing and investing in me!

Join an informational webinar presented by ISN President, Vivek Jha on the ELP program on May 20:

Webinar May 20 at 5 pm CEST Register here.

Find out more about the ISN Emerging Leaders Program and apply here.

The application session is open until June 15, 2020.

The ISN welcomes early-career professionals interested in shaping the direction of kidney health to work alongside a network of international healthcare experts to develop leadership skills.

The ISN Emerging Leaders Programs (ELP) is supported by unrestricted educational grants by Janssen, The Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Alliance.

The call for nominations to receive ISN Awards in 2021 is open until August 27, 2020.

All ISN Members can nominate candidates for:

Discover more on ISN Awards and the requirements for nominations HERE.

Award winners will be recognized at The ISN World Congress of Nephrology 2021 taking place from April 15-18 in Montreal, Canada. ISN Pioneer Awards are handed out during regional events throughout the year.

Support and honor your peers: Send your nominations, supporting materials, and questions to the ISN Awards Coordinator.

As part of the ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Centers and the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Programs, the ISN supported the 1st Primer on Pediatric Renal Transplant and Immunology Workshop alongside the International Society of Pediatric Nephrology (IPNA).

The workshop was held from March 5-7, 2020 at the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) in Vellore, India.

This three-day meeting, the first of its kind, focused on:

  • transplants in special situations,
  • ABO-incompatible and paired donor transplants,
  • surgical techniques and perioperative care,
  • post-transplant immunosuppression and infection management,
  • ethical issues in renal transplant and donor selection and long term outcomes in donors.

A total of 120 delegates attended the course, including residents, Fellows, and practicing pediatric and adult nephrologists from remote parts of India, as well as from Sri Lanka and Nepal. In addition to faculty from India, teaching was provided by international faculty from the US and Australia.

Due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ISN sponsored speaker Dr. Basu Gopal, a transplant nephrologist at the Alfred Hospital and Associate Professor at the Monash University in Melbourne Australia, recorded his talk for broadcast at the course and answered questions via video conference.

One of the highlights of the course was a session on deceased donor transplant: a talk on its status in India, as a model for the developing world, was delivered by Dr. Georgi Abraham, Chief of Nephrology at the Madras Medical Mission hospital.

A teaching coursebook was released by Dr. V. Tamilarasi, former Head of the Nephrology Department at CMCH. The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University awarded 30 CME credit points for the program.


The ISN is pleased to support innovative events through a range of programs that promote kidney care in emerging regions.

By Rachael C Walker, Ph.D., NP, MN, RN

Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Member of the ISN Kidney Health Professionals Working Group

For a variety of reasons, many countries are unable to accommodate those with end-stage kidney disease on hemodialysis in hospitals or in-centre dialysis units.1 Home dialysis offers an alternative to this with several advantages to both patients and the health systems, particularly regarding access to treatment and extended-hour dialysis.2-7 However, countries that have active home dialysis programs have noted that the uptake of home dialysis is often lower in Indigenous, ethnic minority, and more socio-economically disadvantaged groups.8,9,10 This is despite home dialysis being acknowledged as a kidney replacement therapy option that helps to maintain a sense of individual and cultural identity and involvement.11

In New Zealand, a country with high rates of home dialysis, the first community hemodialysis houses were set up to support patients from both urban and remote areas whose housing and/or utilities were barriers to home hemodialysis.12 Community house hemodialysis is a sub-modality of home hemodialysis that enables patients to perform hemodialysis independent of nursing or medical supervision in a shared house somewhere within their local community.

When researching patients who have chosen to use community house hemodialysis, we found that this alternative treatment option often better aligns with the treatment preferences of a group of patients who otherwise may not utilize home hemodialysis.13 In this study, this sub-modality was more acceptable for Indigenous and minority groups, who typically have lower uptake of home dialysis. The community houses supported patients to achieve hemodialysis best practice by providing them with the ability to extend their treatment hours as they could access the houses when it suited them and provided them with a safe and comfortable environment to do so. The community houses also provided many other benefits over both home and facility dialysis, including reduced burden on family, flexibility, and freedom (particularly in respect to the ability to maintain employment); this sub-modality also encouraged personal health, sense of community, and peer support.

For countries who want to promote the use of home dialysis and encourage equitable access to home dialysis, community house hemodialysis should be explored. This sub-modality may also support extended-hour hemodialysis and therefore be more ideal for some subgroups such as younger patients or those awaiting transplantation.

Benefits of Community House Hemodialysis:

 Benefits of Community House Hemodialysis


  1. Liyanage T, Ninomiya T, Jha V. Worldwide access to treatment for end-stage kidney disease: a systematic review. Lancet. 2015;385:1975–1982.
  2. Marshall MR, Hawley CM, Kerr PG, Polkinghorne KR, Marshall RJ, Agar JW, et al. Home hemodialysis and mortality risk in Australian and New Zealand populations. Am J Kidney Dis. 2011;58(5):782-93.
  3. Kooistra MP, Vos J, Koomans HA, Vos PF. Daily home haemodialysis in The Netherlands: effects on metabolic control, haemodynamics, and quality of life. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1998;13(11):2853-60.
  4. McFarlane PA, Pierratos A, Bayoumi AM, Redelmeier DA. Estimating preference scores in conventional and home nocturnal hemodialysis patients. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2007;2(3):477-83.
  5. Vos PF, Zilch O, Jennekens-Schinkel A, Salden M, Nuyen J, Kooistra M MP, et al. Effect of short daily home haemodialysis on quality of life, cognitive functioning and the electroencephalogram. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2006;21(9):2529-35.
  6. Wyld M, Morton RL, Hayen A, Howard K, Webster AC. A systematic review and meta-analysis of utility-based quality of life in chronic kidney disease treatments. PLoS Med. 2012;9(9):e1001307.
  7. Johansen KL, Zhang R, Huang Y, Chen SC, Blagg CR, Goldfarb-Rumyantzev AS, et al. Survival and hospitalization among patients using nocturnal and short daily compared to conventional hemodialysis: a USRDS study. Kidney Int. 2009;76(9):984-90.
  8. New Zealand National Renal Advisory Board. New Zealand Nephrology Activity Report 2016. Publisher Ministry of Health, Wellington, New Zealand. 2018.
  9. McKercher C, Jose MD, Grace B, Clayton PA, Walter M. Gender differences in the dialysis treatment of Indigenous and non‐Indigenous Australians. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2017;41(1):15-20.
  10. Mehrotra R, Soohoo M, Rivara MB, Himmelfarb J, Cheung AK, Arah OA, et al. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Use of and Outcomes with Home Dialysis in the United States. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016;27(7):2123-34.
  11. Walker RC, Howard K, Morton RL, Palmer SC, Marshall MR, Tong A. Patient and caregiver values, beliefs and experiences when considering home dialysis as a treatment option: a semi-structured interview study. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2016;31(1):133-41.
  12. Marshall MR, Supershad S. Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in Community House Hemodialysis (CHHD) versus Home Hemodialysis (Home HD). J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013;24 (Suppl):4 41A.
  13. Walker RC, Tipene-Leach D, Graham A, Palmer SC. Patients’ Experiences of Community House Hemodialysis: A Qualitative Study. Kidney Med. 2019;1(6):338-346.

Over 5,000 people worldwide have already visited ISN's recently launched, open-access, online resource to assist you in trial design, study conduct, data management, data analysis, and publication.

More than ever, clinical trials in nephrology are needed to generate high-quality evidence to inform all aspects of care for patients with or at risk of kidney disease, including with COVID-19.

Access the ISN-ACT Toolkit to help carry out meaningful and robust clinical trials, or to become involved as a trial site.

Find key results from your region through scorecards.

Available here

Share the results from your region via social media or other media and press channels to support discussions on and advocate for kidney health care.

In collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the ISN i3C (International Consortium CKDu Collaborators) group has developed the ISN Observatory of CKDu to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge to raise awareness of the urgent issue of Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology.

The input of experts in the field of CKDu provides both the ISN and the WHO with an understanding of the global burden of kidney disease, addressing kidney disease in the context of global, regional, and national NCD (Noncommunicable disease) strategies.

Access the ISN Observatory of CKDu and share your data on CKDu.

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

As part of its Collaboration Plan with the World Health Organization (WHO), the ISN i3C (International Consortium CKDu Collaborators) group has developed a CKDu Observatory Map to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge in order to raise awareness of the urgent issue of Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology.

Be the first to access the Observatory Map as well as additional comprehensive information on CKDu from May 7, 2020.

The ISN and the International Pediatric Nephrology Association (IPNA) have agreed to extend and formalize their existing partnership to include collaboration on a number of ISN programs and activities, demonstrating a mutual commitment to the global advancement of pediatric nephrology.

This partnership seeks to increase and strengthen the links between both societies through the ISN-IPNA Fellowships and the ISN’s Sister Renal Centers (SRC) Program. The next application deadline for the Fellowship and the Sister Renal Centers Program is October 1.

Pediatric representation on the ISN Regional Boards will help ensure that pediatric nephrology-specific issues can be shared with ISN leadership so that the ISN-IPNA collaboration is able to enhance kidney care for children around the globe.

Through this collaboration, all IPNA members will now receive full access to ISN’s Academy portal to explore over 8000 hours of educational with selected content in 7 languages.

In addition, both organizations will jointly organize up to 3 webinars per year and develop new e-learning materials to expand and improve the quality and quantity of online educational content available on pediatric nephrology.

ISN President, Vivek Jha explains: “Both ISN and IPNA are committed to building the capacity of healthcare professionals. Ultimately, this is to improve patient care – especially in areas where care is needed most through education and training.

Bradley Warady, IPNA Treasurer, comments “It is very rewarding to see something so positive for the nephrology community arise in the setting of the pandemic and all of the associated unfortunate outcomes.”

Applications to the ISN Emerging Leaders Program are now open, apply here. The application session is open until June 15, 2020.

The ISN welcomes early-career professionals interested in shaping the direction of kidney health to work alongside a network of international healthcare experts to develop leadership skills.

Find out more about the ISN ELP Program here.

A webinar will be broadcast on May 18 and 20 to provide more information on the program including scope, opportunities, eligibility criteria, applications, and program timeline.

Please choose the time and date that is most convenient and register before the webinar:

Webinar May 18 at 11 am CEST

Webinar May 20 at 5 pm CEST

 Register now
 Register now


ISN President, Vivek Jha (India), will be the main presenter and moderator. Members of the ELP Steering Committee, including Rumeyza Kazancioglu (Turkey), Adrian Liew (Singapore), and Saraladevi Naicker (South Africa), will be present to guide you through the program and answer questions.

Contact Marie-Pierre Smal at for more information.

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