Members - Alessandra Boletta

Alessandra Boletta

Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement in the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

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, the prize is split between Albert Ong and Alessandra Boletta.

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

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

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

Dr. Boletta will be presenting the talk ‘Metabolic Reprogramming in Polycystic Kidney Disease’ during the Lillian Jean Kaplan Prize presentation taking place on Sunday, February 27, 2022, at 00:30 MYT (Saturday, February 26, 2022, at 17:30 CET).