The start of a new year often signals a time for reflection. As we move through 2022, we again may find ourselves asking: What is the state of nephrology research? How are trainees fairing as they build their own independent careers in this field? There are many sources of support that assist trainees at all levels as they hone the skills necessary for scientific investigation. However, this career path is not without challenges, including, but not limited to, scientific investigation funding, time that is dedicated for investigation, support to build a professional network, and the current lack of diversity in
ASN plans to lead the kidney community in reconsidering “every aspect of the future of nephrology” over the next 8 months, ASN President Susan E. Quaggin, MD, said in a March letter to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Nephrology Board and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Quaggin was responding to separate messages from the two organizations asking for ASN's input on major revisions of their certification and training program requirements.
In a letter to Quaggin in January, the ABIM Nephrology Board wrote, “For some time the nephrology community has grappled with whether or not certain
“Doc, I was told I have stage 5 kidney disease. What happened to stages 1 through 4?”
Almost every nephrologist, including myself, has had this heartbreaking and far too common question asked of them by patients receiving their diagnosis of kidney disease for the first time. Even worse: A patient first learns about kidney function coincident with placement of a catheter to initiate urgent dialysis.
Not surprisingly, these diagnoses trigger a mixture of emotions: fear, anxiety, disbelief … anger. It is time we do better.
The first diagnosis of kidney disease as kidney failure is truly a failure—of the system.
Keisa W. Mathis, Corey L. Reynolds, and Clintoria R. Williams
According to surveys conducted by the Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology, the percentage of Black faculty has averaged 1% for the past 20 years (1). This same trend in lack of representation exists for the trainee (graduate student and postdoc) level as well, further complicating the recruitment and retention of the next generation of Black physiologists. It was due to these defaults in the system that in the summer of 2020, Black in Physiology (BiP), an organization committed to nurturing and celebrating Black excellence throughout the physiology community, was created by four charter members. Currently, two
The February Kidney News article “A Call to Action for Physicians: Become Informed and Empowered, and Begin to Heal Thyself” includes the statement, “The RUC [American Medical Association (AMA) Relative Value Update Committee] is a group of 32 physicians and other health care professionals who advise CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] on how to value various medical services. The advice of the RUC is nearly always accepted by CMS, yet nephrology is not currently represented on the committee.”
In reality, nephrology has access to the RUC, because the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) is a member of
Cell death is a fundamental biological process underlying normal development, homeostasis, and diseases. Regulated cell death is defined as a molecularly controlled cell death that can be modulated (either promoting or preventing) by specific interventions (1). Although apoptosis has been the focus of interest regarding research on regulated cell death and has been historically considered a major cell death pathway in kidney disease processes, there are surprisingly many other ways cells end their lives in a molecularly regulated manner, such as necroptosis, pyroptosis, ferroptosis, and others. Among them, ferroptosis is attracting attention as a critical contributor and a
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently published a scientific statement on the diagnosis, blood pressure goals, and pharmacotherapy of hypertension in pregnancy (1). Although hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are associated with high maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity (Figures 1 and 2), little has changed in their diagnosis and treatment in the United States over the past decades. Hypertension in pregnancy continues to be defined as blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg by most societies, including the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP), despite lowering the threshold in the general population
Matthew A. Sparks and on behalf of the AHA KCVD Council
Inspired by the success of the ASN Innovations in Kidney Education Contest, the American Heart Association (AHA) Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease (KCVD) is launching a contest to promote educational tools spanning heart disease and kidney diseases. Although the role of the kidney in cardiovascular disease (CVD) is widely recognized among nephrologists, there is a paucity of education about this among primary care practitioners, during medical school, and in residency training. Whereas novel therapies are continuing to be developed (sodium glucose co-transporter 2 [SGLT2] inhibitors, for example), it is imperative to develop new teaching tools that can be
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) partnered together for the 10th Annual Kidney Health Advocacy Day on March 23. Advocates from both organizations met virtually with representatives, senators, and their respective staffs to urge Congress to support key legislative priorities including the following:
supporting kidney health research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK),
funding kidney health innovation for Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX), and
protecting living donors to increase organs available for transplant.
Kidney research leads to the discovery of new methods to detect kidney diseases, and
Steven Menez, Ashveena L. Dighe, Ian H. de Boer, and for the Kidney Precision Medicine Project
The Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP) is a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)-funded, multi-year collaboration of leading research institutions across the United States that aims to better understand the mechanisms of acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) (1).
Our understanding of the pathophysiology of certain kidney diseases has improved dramatically in recent years, with discovery of the genetic mechanisms behind phenotypes, such as non-diabetic focal segmental glomerular sclerosis in patients with high-risk APOL1 genotypes (2). However, CKD and, in particular, AKI are defined broadly using serum creatinine and