John Peters Award to Honor Josephine P. Briggs

Josephine P. Briggs
ASN will recognize the wide-ranging contributions of Josephine P. Briggs, MD, with the presentation of the John P. Peters Award.

An accomplished researcher and physician, Dr. Briggs is director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The John P. Peters Award is given for outstanding contributions to improving the lives of patients and to furthering the understanding of the kidney in health and disease, and Dr. Briggs’ research has added greatly to this understanding. In her current position, her focus on translational research is designed to bring a fuller understanding of the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health practices. She oversees an institute with a budget of $120 million that funds research at 260 institutions.

Dr. Briggs’ research interests include the renin-angiotensin system, diabetic nephropathy, circadian regulation of blood pressure, and the effect of antioxidants in kidney disease. She has published more than 175 research articles, book chapters, and scholarly papers.

She has served on the editorial boards of several journals—including the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, Seminars in Nephrology, and Hypertension—and was deputy editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

After working as a research scientist for seven years at the Physiology Institute at the University of Munich in Germany, Dr. Briggs joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1985. She held several academic positions, including associate chair for research in the department of internal medicine and professorships in nephrology, internal medicine, and physiology.

Dr. Briggs joined the NIH in 1997 as director of the division of kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. While there, she co-chaired an NIH Roadmap Committee on Translational Core Resources. In 2006, she accepted a position as senior scientific officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and returned to NIH in 2008 for her present position.

She has received the Volhard Prize of the German Nephrological Society, Alexander von Humboldt Scientific Exchange Award, and NIH Director’s awards. She is an elected member of the American Association of Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Investigation and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Briggs received her MD from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency in internal medicine and nephrology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

John P. Peters

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John P. Peters, MD, was one of the fathers of nephrology and former chief of the Metabolic Division in the Department of Medicine at Yale University. He transformed clinical chemistry from a discipline of qualitative impressions to one in which precise quantitative measurements of body fluids comprise a vital part of the patient examination and provide great explanatory value.

He advanced the view that disease is a quantitative abnormality of normal physiological processes and that, by understanding disease, one could gain a deeper understanding of normal physiology. His enduring scientific contributions paralleled his fervent mission to ensure that the physician be an advocate for the patient.