Fibrotic Changes Could Be Key to Progression from Injury to Chronic Disease

Benjamin D. Humphreys, MD, PhD

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The leader of a laboratory focused on kidney injury will speak on “Fibrotic Changes Mediating AKI to CKD Transition.”

Benjamin D. Humphreys, MD, PhD, FASN, will deliver the Barry M. Brenner, MD, Endowed Lectureship on Friday, Nov. 18.

Dr. Humphreys is the Chromalloy Associate Professor of Medicine and chief of the division of nephrology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He leads a division of 33 faculty members with $5.5 million in yearly research grants.

His National Institutes of Health-funded laboratory focuses on adult kidney injury (AKI) and repair. The laboratory has special expertise in genetic mouse models of kidney diseases and stem cell biology, employing these approaches to identify new treatments for patients suffering from acute and chronic kidney diseases. To validate its discoveries in mice, the laboratory generated a substantial human kidney biobank. The researchers’ current efforts focus on defining transcriptional profiles in individual kidney cell types from human kidney biopsies.

Prior to joining Washington University in 2015, Dr. Humphreys was director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute Kidney Program and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The Harvard Stem Cell Institute uses mouse genetics, genomic techniques, and traditional molecular and biochemical approaches to study and model human kidney diseases in two main areas: 1) In AKI, where research into signaling pathways that enable kidney repair identified novel pathways regulating epithelial proliferation and re-differentiation after injury. 2) In chronic kidney disease, where the researchers identified the cells responsible for kidney fibrosis and designed new approaches to limiting the damage these cells do to kidney tissue.

Dr. Humphreys has authored over 100 publications and many book chapters. He holds five patents.

He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and an established investigator with the American Heart Association. He received the National Kidney Foundation Young Investigator Award and the American Society of Nephrology Gottschalk Research Scholar Award.

Dr. Humphreys earned his medical and doctoral degrees from Case Western Reserve University. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

October/November 2016  (Vol 8, Issue 10/11)