Talk Will Focus on Genetic Factors in Kidney Diseases

Jeffrey B. Kopp, MD

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A researcher with decades of experience will examine genetic factors in kidney diseases in the Michelle P. Winn, MD, Endowed Lectureship on Saturday, Nov. 4. Jeffrey B. Kopp, MD, will speak on “APOL1 Risk Alleles and the Podocyte.”

Dr. Kopp is chief of the kidney diseases branch at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in Bethesda, Md. He serves as a consultant on the nephrology service at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center.

Dr. Kopp leads a translational research group studying FSGS and related podocyte diseases. His group’s genetic studies contributed to the identification of APOL1 as a major susceptibility gene for kidney diseases in African Americans. He will describe some of the recent highlights of their work, including the discovery that chromosome 22 harbors a major risk locus for kidney diseases in African Americans, including FSGS, HIV-associated nephropathy, and arterionephrosclerosis (hypertension-attributed kidney disease). APOL1 coding variants, which protect against trypanosomal infection, are strongly associated with kidney diseases. Dr. Kopp is continuing this research to try to identify the mechanisms by which APOL1 variants damage the glomerulus. He has published over 290 scientific papers.

He has served on several editorial boards, including those of the American Journal of Kidney Disease, American Journal of Nephrology, American Journal of Physiology, and Kidney International. He was the issue editor of an edition of Seminars in Nephrology that focused on FSGS.

He has served on the organizing committee for several NIDDK conferences and been on the ASN program committee.

Dr. Kopp began his career at NIH as a medical staff fellow in 1987 and became a senior investigator in 1995. He also serves as an adjunct professor of medicine in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

He holds a commission with the rank of captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and participates in the rapid deployment force to provide a medical response to natural disasters. He attended the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and trained in internal medicine and nephrology at the University of Washington.

October/November 2017 (Vol. 9, Number 10 & 11)