ASN 2020 Midcareer Award Recipients

October 5, 2020

ASN honors the 2020 Midcareer Award recipients. ASN congratulates the following individuals for their exemplary work and achievements.

Derek M. Fine, MD, and Vandana Dua Niyyar, MD, FASN, will receive the ASN Distinguished Clinical Service Award, which recognizes individuals who combine the art of medicine with the skills demanded by the scientific body of knowledge in service to patients. The award also recognizes those who exemplify leadership and excellence in the practice of nephrology and those who have initiated or been involved in volunteer programs or have provided volunteer service post-training.

C. John Sperati, MD, will receive the ASN Distinguished Educator Award, which honors those who have made substantial and meritorious contributions to clinical or research education in nephrology, and to the education and training of trainees and junior faculty. The award also recognizes those who have acquired special knowledge to stay informed of the latest advances in clinical care and research.

Holly J. Kramer, MD, MPH, and Kathleen D. Liu, MD, PhD, FASN, will receive the ASN Distinguished Leader Award, which recognizes sustained achievements in leadership and those who advance ASN’s mission to “lead the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality of care for patients.” This award also recognizes contributions to all areas of medicine, including clinical, educational, research, or administrative efforts.

Sofia B. Ahmed, MD, MS, and Thu H. Le, MD, will receive the ASN Distinguished Mentor Award, which recognizes individuals who have made contributions to the kidney community through the mentorship and development of other clinicians or researchers. This award also recognizes those who have inspired others to pursue nephrology and become leaders in the transformation of health care through innovations in research, education, and practice.

Nisha Bansal, MD, FASN, Lesley A. Inker, MD, MS, and Shuta Ishibe, MD, will receive the ASN Distinguished Researcher Award, which recognizes individuals who have made substantial research contributions to the discipline of nephrology, as well as those who display innovation and excellence in research to advance the science and/or practice of nephrology.

ABOUT THE AWARD RECIPIENTS

Derek M. Fine, MD, recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Service Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His areas of clinical expertise include glomerular kidney disease, particularly lupus nephritis and other immune mediated kidney diseases, HIV-related kidney disease, scleroderma-related kidney disease, acute kidney injury, hyponatremia, kidney biopsy, and rhabdomyolysis. Dr. Fine serves as the Clinical Director of the Division of Nephrology. He is a member of the Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence and was named 2018 Physician of the Year at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Fine earned his MD at Johns Hopkins. He completed his residency in internal medicine and his fellowship in nephrology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Vandana Dua Niyyar, MD, FASN, recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Service Award, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at Emory University. Dr. Niyyar’s clinical interests center on kidney failure, with specific expertise in dealing with vascular access for hemodialysis patients and renal ultrasonography. She is passionate about promoting multidisciplinary collaboration in research and education in the field of vascular access; with the ultimate goal of optimizing access care and processes for dialysis patients. Dr. Niyyar serves in a variety of leadership roles, including as President-Elect of the American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology (ASDIN) and recently graduated as a Fellow of the Woodruff Leadership Academy. Dr. Niyyar has taught numerous didactic presentations and hands-on training workshops regionally, nationally, and internationally. She has served as Co-Chair of the ASDIN 2018 and 2019 Annual Scientific Meetings, Co-Chair of 2018 and 2019 ASN and ASDIN Ultrasound Workshops and the Co-Chair of the 2019 NKF Hands-on Course.  In 2019, Dr. Niyyar received the ASDIN Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the field of dialysis access and the Emory Nanette Wenger Service Award for implementing protocols for vascular access preservation for patients with chronic kidney disease.

C. John Sperati, MD, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Educator Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is Director of the Nephrology Training Program and co-directs the Johns Hopkins Osler Learning Initiative. Dr. Sperati’s clinical interests focus on thrombotic microangiopathy including atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), complement mediated kidney diseases including C3 glomerulopathy, secondary and resistant hypertension, glomerulonephritis, and nephrotic syndrome. He is the site principal investigator for several clinical studies, serves on editorial boards, and is a member of the National Kidney Foundation Education Committee and the Nephrology Knowledge Check-In Task Force of the American Board of Internal Medicine. His clinical expertise has been recognized by induction into the Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence. He obtained his MD from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and a Master in Health Science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He subsequently pursued subspecialty training in nephrology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Holly J. Kramer, MD, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Leader Award, is a Professor of Public Health Sciences and Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center. Dr. Kramer has largely focused her research on focuses on obesity and kidney disease and genetic variants for kidney disease. She is a co-investigator for the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. She became co-director of the Clinical Research Methods and Epidemiology Program in 2005, developing several courses for the program, and later became the program director for the Program Director for the MPH Program in 2009. Dr. Kramer serves as President of the National Kidney Foundation (and served previously on its scientific advisory board), was vice-chair of NKF’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF KDOQI) Controversies and Commentaries, and served on the program committee for three of NKF’s spring clinical meetings. In 2016, she received NKF’s Garabed Eknoyan Award for her key contributions to NKF’s KDOQI guidelines and for clinical research in kidney disease. Dr. Kramer received her MD from the Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her nephrology fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Kathleen D. Liu, MD, PhD, FASN, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Leader Award, is a Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Liu’s current research areas of interest focus on the predictive and pathogenetic role of biomarkers for both acute and chronic disease states. Her long-term goal is to identify and validate novel biomarkers of organ injury (specifically, the kidney and lung) that may have predictive value for disease outcomes as well as shed important insight into disease pathogenesis. Additionally, she has a major interest in clinical trials in the Intensive Care Unit, with a particular focus on acute lung injury and acute kidney injury. Dr. Liu has a strong record of mentoring medical students, residents, and fellows who want to train for a career in academic medicine. She has established a well-funded independent research program focused primarily on acute kidney injury (AKI), and on the challenge of expanding needed clinical trials for critically ill hospitalized patients. Dr. Liu received her MD and her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. She also earned a M.A.S. in Clinical Research from UCSF.

Sofia B. Ahmed, MD, MS, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Mentor Award, is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Dr. Ahmed’s research interests focus on the study of how women and men differ in terms of progression and complications of kidney disease, and how factors such as sleep apnea and nutrition play a role. Her mentoring and supervision of students and trainees has increased research capacity and success in nephrology and cardiovascular sciences. She has organized trainee meetings around the world and received numerous awards for her successful efforts and initiatives in this area. She is an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Investigator and is leading projects supported by the Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Dr. Ahmed completed her MD and internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto and a nephrology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Ahmed completed her Master in Medical Sciences at Harvard University.

Thu H. Le, MD, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Mentor Award, is John J. Kuiper Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Nephrology at the University of Rochester. As a clinical investigator, she is dedicated to patient care as well as research. She served on the study sections for the American Heart Association and the National Kidney Foundation, and was a regular member of the NIH Genetics of Health and Disease Study Section from 2012 to 2018. Dr. Le has mentored dozens of students and trainees and has guided numerous early career faculty to help them achieve success. Her passion for mentorship and dedication to promoting the careers of others have garnered numerous awards for teaching and training excellence and have helped many physician scientists launch successful careers. Her research focuses on renal mechanisms of hypertension and genetic determinants of susceptibility to kidney disease progression and examining the effect of genetic variants of collectrin on blood pressure in four different human populations. Dr. Le’s studies may be able to address the decades-old question of whether vascular dysfunction in general—and specifically that in the kidney—is a prerequisite for salt sensitivity and/or hypertension. Her laboratory also studies the role of GSTM1 deficiency in chronic kidney disease progression. Dr. Le received her MD from George Washington University School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine and nephrology training at Duke University Medical Center.

Nisha Bansal, MD, FASN, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Researcher Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and Associate Director of the Nephrology Fellowship Program. Her research focuses on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease and hypertension in patients with chronic kidney disease. She is interested in the development, diagnosis, consequences and treatment of heart failure and arrhythmias in patients with kidney disease. She leads clinical research that centers on the pathophysiology, treatment, and outcomes associated with hypertension and cardiovascular disease at different stages of kidney disease. Dr. Bansal’s awards and honors include the UW Fialkow Scholars Award, the UW Housestaff Scholarship Mentor Award, the Tufts Medical Center Outstanding Resident Teacher Award, and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. Dr. Bansal completed medical school at the University of Connecticut and completed her residency at Tufts Medical Center. She completed her nephrology fellowship and a Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research at the University of California, San Francisco.

Lesley A. Inker, MD, MS, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Researcher Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and Director of the Kidney and Blood Pressure Center in the William B. Schwartz, M.D., Division of Nephrology. Dr. Inker also directs the Kidney Function Evaluation Center, and the Division of Nephrology’s Quality Improvement Program. Dr. Inker’s research focuses on implementation of estimated glomerular filtration rate by clinical laboratories, as well as estimating and measuring kidney function—including in specific populations such as the elderly and HIV-positive people. A leader clinical trials end points research, Dr. Inker also served as co-chair of the trial level analytical team for the recent joint workshop with NKF, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency on End Points for Clinical Trials in Early Chronic Kidney Disease. She has collaborated with NKF on improving chronic kidney disease awareness and with the National Institutes of Health on improving best practices for glomerular filtration rate reporting. Dr. Inker received her MD from McMaster University and completed her residency and fellowship training at the University of British Columbia and Tufts School of Medicine.

Shuta Ishibe, MD, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Researcher Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the Yale School of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Undergraduate Summer Research Program for Nephrology, Director of the Research Fellowship, and Director for Educational Enrichment, George M. O'Brien Center, Nephrology. Dr. Ishibe's research centers on the mechanism of proteinuria by studying podocytes and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a secreted protein that plays important roles in epithelial morphogenesis, mitogenesis, and motogenesis. In addition, his laboratory investigates cell-matrix biology in his study of podocytes and evaluates the importance of various interacting partners of known human-disease-causing mutations that result in nephrotic syndrome. Future directions include studying cell-matrix biology and endocytosis in podocytes and obtaining human samples to discover novel disease mutations, which may lead to a further understanding of disease processes leading to nephrotic syndrome. Dr. Ishibe is a recipient of the ASN Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant. An Associate Editor of Kidney360, he completed medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed his internal medicine and residency training at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

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ASN honors the 2020 Midcareer Award recipients. ASN congratulates the following individuals for their exemplary work and achievements.

Derek M. Fine, MD, and Vandana Dua Niyyar, MD, FASN, will receive the ASN Distinguished Clinical Service Award, which recognizes individuals who combine the art of medicine with the skills demanded by the scientific body of knowledge in service to patients. The award also recognizes those who exemplify leadership and excellence in the practice of nephrology and those who have initiated or been involved in volunteer programs or have provided volunteer service post-training.

C. John Sperati, MD, will receive the ASN Distinguished Educator Award, which honors those who have made substantial and meritorious contributions to clinical or research education in nephrology, and to the education and training of trainees and junior faculty. The award also recognizes those who have acquired special knowledge to stay informed of the latest advances in clinical care and research.

Holly J. Kramer, MD, MPH, and Kathleen D. Liu, MD, PhD, FASN, will receive the ASN Distinguished Leader Award, which recognizes sustained achievements in leadership and those who advance ASN’s mission to “lead the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality of care for patients.” This award also recognizes contributions to all areas of medicine, including clinical, educational, research, or administrative efforts.

Sofia B. Ahmed, MD, MS, and Thu H. Le, MD, will receive the ASN Distinguished Mentor Award, which recognizes individuals who have made contributions to the kidney community through the mentorship and development of other clinicians or researchers. This award also recognizes those who have inspired others to pursue nephrology and become leaders in the transformation of health care through innovations in research, education, and practice.

Nisha Bansal, MD, FASN, Lesley A. Inker, MD, MS, and Shuta Ishibe, MD, will receive the ASN Distinguished Researcher Award, which recognizes individuals who have made substantial research contributions to the discipline of nephrology, as well as those who display innovation and excellence in research to advance the science and/or practice of nephrology.

ABOUT THE AWARD RECIPIENTS

Derek M. Fine, MD, recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Service Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His areas of clinical expertise include glomerular kidney disease, particularly lupus nephritis and other immune mediated kidney diseases, HIV-related kidney disease, scleroderma-related kidney disease, acute kidney injury, hyponatremia, kidney biopsy, and rhabdomyolysis. Dr. Fine serves as the Clinical Director of the Division of Nephrology. He is a member of the Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence and was named 2018 Physician of the Year at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Fine earned his MD at Johns Hopkins. He completed his residency in internal medicine and his fellowship in nephrology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Vandana Dua Niyyar, MD, FASN, recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Service Award, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at Emory University. Dr. Niyyar’s clinical interests center on kidney failure, with specific expertise in dealing with vascular access for hemodialysis patients and renal ultrasonography. She is passionate about promoting multidisciplinary collaboration in research and education in the field of vascular access; with the ultimate goal of optimizing access care and processes for dialysis patients. Dr. Niyyar serves in a variety of leadership roles, including as President-Elect of the American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology (ASDIN) and recently graduated as a Fellow of the Woodruff Leadership Academy. Dr. Niyyar has taught numerous didactic presentations and hands-on training workshops regionally, nationally, and internationally. She has served as Co-Chair of the ASDIN 2018 and 2019 Annual Scientific Meetings, Co-Chair of 2018 and 2019 ASN and ASDIN Ultrasound Workshops and the Co-Chair of the 2019 NKF Hands-on Course.  In 2019, Dr. Niyyar received the ASDIN Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the field of dialysis access and the Emory Nanette Wenger Service Award for implementing protocols for vascular access preservation for patients with chronic kidney disease.

C. John Sperati, MD, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Educator Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is Director of the Nephrology Training Program and co-directs the Johns Hopkins Osler Learning Initiative. Dr. Sperati’s clinical interests focus on thrombotic microangiopathy including atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), complement mediated kidney diseases including C3 glomerulopathy, secondary and resistant hypertension, glomerulonephritis, and nephrotic syndrome. He is the site principal investigator for several clinical studies, serves on editorial boards, and is a member of the National Kidney Foundation Education Committee and the Nephrology Knowledge Check-In Task Force of the American Board of Internal Medicine. His clinical expertise has been recognized by induction into the Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence. He obtained his MD from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and a Master in Health Science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He subsequently pursued subspecialty training in nephrology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Holly J. Kramer, MD, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Leader Award, is a Professor of Public Health Sciences and Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center. Dr. Kramer has largely focused her research on focuses on obesity and kidney disease and genetic variants for kidney disease. She is a co-investigator for the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. She became co-director of the Clinical Research Methods and Epidemiology Program in 2005, developing several courses for the program, and later became the program director for the Program Director for the MPH Program in 2009. Dr. Kramer serves as President of the National Kidney Foundation (and served previously on its scientific advisory board), was vice-chair of NKF’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF KDOQI) Controversies and Commentaries, and served on the program committee for three of NKF’s spring clinical meetings. In 2016, she received NKF’s Garabed Eknoyan Award for her key contributions to NKF’s KDOQI guidelines and for clinical research in kidney disease. Dr. Kramer received her MD from the Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her nephrology fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Kathleen D. Liu, MD, PhD, FASN, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Leader Award, is a Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Liu’s current research areas of interest focus on the predictive and pathogenetic role of biomarkers for both acute and chronic disease states. Her long-term goal is to identify and validate novel biomarkers of organ injury (specifically, the kidney and lung) that may have predictive value for disease outcomes as well as shed important insight into disease pathogenesis. Additionally, she has a major interest in clinical trials in the Intensive Care Unit, with a particular focus on acute lung injury and acute kidney injury. Dr. Liu has a strong record of mentoring medical students, residents, and fellows who want to train for a career in academic medicine. She has established a well-funded independent research program focused primarily on acute kidney injury (AKI), and on the challenge of expanding needed clinical trials for critically ill hospitalized patients. Dr. Liu received her MD and her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. She also earned a M.A.S. in Clinical Research from UCSF.

Sofia B. Ahmed, MD, MS, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Mentor Award, is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Dr. Ahmed’s research interests focus on the study of how women and men differ in terms of progression and complications of kidney disease, and how factors such as sleep apnea and nutrition play a role. Her mentoring and supervision of students and trainees has increased research capacity and success in nephrology and cardiovascular sciences. She has organized trainee meetings around the world and received numerous awards for her successful efforts and initiatives in this area. She is an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Investigator and is leading projects supported by the Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Dr. Ahmed completed her MD and internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto and a nephrology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Ahmed completed her Master in Medical Sciences at Harvard University.

Thu H. Le, MD, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Mentor Award, is John J. Kuiper Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Nephrology at the University of Rochester. As a clinical investigator, she is dedicated to patient care as well as research. She served on the study sections for the American Heart Association and the National Kidney Foundation, and was a regular member of the NIH Genetics of Health and Disease Study Section from 2012 to 2018. Dr. Le has mentored dozens of students and trainees and has guided numerous early career faculty to help them achieve success. Her passion for mentorship and dedication to promoting the careers of others have garnered numerous awards for teaching and training excellence and have helped many physician scientists launch successful careers. Her research focuses on renal mechanisms of hypertension and genetic determinants of susceptibility to kidney disease progression and examining the effect of genetic variants of collectrin on blood pressure in four different human populations. Dr. Le’s studies may be able to address the decades-old question of whether vascular dysfunction in general—and specifically that in the kidney—is a prerequisite for salt sensitivity and/or hypertension. Her laboratory also studies the role of GSTM1 deficiency in chronic kidney disease progression. Dr. Le received her MD from George Washington University School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine and nephrology training at Duke University Medical Center.

Nisha Bansal, MD, FASN, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Researcher Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and Associate Director of the Nephrology Fellowship Program. Her research focuses on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease and hypertension in patients with chronic kidney disease. She is interested in the development, diagnosis, consequences and treatment of heart failure and arrhythmias in patients with kidney disease. She leads clinical research that centers on the pathophysiology, treatment, and outcomes associated with hypertension and cardiovascular disease at different stages of kidney disease. Dr. Bansal’s awards and honors include the UW Fialkow Scholars Award, the UW Housestaff Scholarship Mentor Award, the Tufts Medical Center Outstanding Resident Teacher Award, and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. Dr. Bansal completed medical school at the University of Connecticut and completed her residency at Tufts Medical Center. She completed her nephrology fellowship and a Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research at the University of California, San Francisco.

Lesley A. Inker, MD, MS, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Researcher Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and Director of the Kidney and Blood Pressure Center in the William B. Schwartz, M.D., Division of Nephrology. Dr. Inker also directs the Kidney Function Evaluation Center, and the Division of Nephrology’s Quality Improvement Program. Dr. Inker’s research focuses on implementation of estimated glomerular filtration rate by clinical laboratories, as well as estimating and measuring kidney function—including in specific populations such as the elderly and HIV-positive people. A leader clinical trials end points research, Dr. Inker also served as co-chair of the trial level analytical team for the recent joint workshop with NKF, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency on End Points for Clinical Trials in Early Chronic Kidney Disease. She has collaborated with NKF on improving chronic kidney disease awareness and with the National Institutes of Health on improving best practices for glomerular filtration rate reporting. Dr. Inker received her MD from McMaster University and completed her residency and fellowship training at the University of British Columbia and Tufts School of Medicine.

Shuta Ishibe, MD, recipient of the ASN Distinguished Researcher Award, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the Yale School of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Undergraduate Summer Research Program for Nephrology, Director of the Research Fellowship, and Director for Educational Enrichment, George M. O'Brien Center, Nephrology. Dr. Ishibe's research centers on the mechanism of proteinuria by studying podocytes and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a secreted protein that plays important roles in epithelial morphogenesis, mitogenesis, and motogenesis. In addition, his laboratory investigates cell-matrix biology in his study of podocytes and evaluates the importance of various interacting partners of known human-disease-causing mutations that result in nephrotic syndrome. Future directions include studying cell-matrix biology and endocytosis in podocytes and obtaining human samples to discover novel disease mutations, which may lead to a further understanding of disease processes leading to nephrotic syndrome. Dr. Ishibe is a recipient of the ASN Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant. An Associate Editor of Kidney360, he completed medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed his internal medicine and residency training at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

Date:
Monday, October 5, 2020