Distinguished Conversations: Keeping Nephrology Great

It is a pleasure to introduce a new series at Kidney News, “Distinguished Conversations: Keeping Nephrology Great.” We have asked established leaders in nephrology to invite their mentors, heroes, or most esteemed colleagues for a discussion of their opinions and recollections about the field of nephrology, especially how it has been great in the past and how we can continue to improve in the future. It is wonderful and fitting that this series coincides with the celebration of ASN’s 50th anniversary. We hope you will enjoy it greatly. Please let us know at kidneynews@asn-online.org.

For the first installment of the series, ASN President Raymond C. Harris, MD, Chief of Nephrology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, chose to interview his early mentor at Harvard Medical School, Barry M. Brenner, MD, Director Emeritus of the renal division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Samuel A. Levine Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an inimitable leader in nephology.

Dr. Brenner earned his MD degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1962 and completed his internal medicine residency at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in 1966. He did his kidney research training at the National Heart Institute (precursor to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) and then moved to the University of California, San Francisco, in 1969, before arriving at Harvard in 1976 to join its distinguished nephrology division. During the period from 1979 to 2001, when he was director, Brigham’s renal division was named America’s leading nephrology program by U.S. News and World Report.

A former president of ASN, this true triple threat has won the ASN Homer W. Smith Award for basic science, the John P. Peters Award for clinical science, and the Robert G. Narins Award for education and teaching. He also has been honored by the National Kidney Foundation, International Society of Nephrology, American Heart Association, and the Royal College of Physicians, among many others. He has held at least 25 editorial board appointments, published more than 700 scientific articles, edited 49 books, and participated in well more than 300 visiting lectures and/or professorships. We are delighted he agreed to be the first individual interviewed for this series.