The Belding H. Scribner Award will be tendered on Saturday, November 6, to Jonathan Himmelfarb, MD, FASN, for his career-long contributions to the practice of nephrology. Dr. Himmelfarb is professor of medicine, adjunct professor of bioengineering, director of the Kidney Research Institute, and co-director of the Center for Dialysis Innovation at the University of Washington in Seattle. He also holds the Joseph W. Eschbach, MD, Endowed Chair in Kidney Research.
Established in 1995, the Belding H. Scribner Award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the care of patients with kidney disorders or have substantially influenced the clinical practice of nephrology. Dr. Himmelfarb's research and clinical achievements are internationally recognized, and he has been a forceful advocate for patient well-being and improving kidney care.
As the inaugural director of the Kidney Research Institute, Dr. Himmelfarb built a successful clinical and translational research program. He led efforts to engage patients as participants in the design of research and mentored physician-scientists conducting groundbreaking clinical and basic research.
Dr. Himmelfarb's research, which has led to 320 highly cited scientific publications, has propelled major advances in care. He was one of the first to investigate adverse effects from the use of bioincompatible cellulosic hemodialysis membranes. In a series of seminal publications, he improved the understanding of how the loss of kidney function directly contributes to increased oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, and cardiovascular risk. His landmark studies of the epidemiology of acute kidney injury helped change its treatment.
Dr. Himmelfarb helped develop microphysiological systems for kidney disease modeling, drug efficacy testing, and toxicity testing. He co-founded the Center for Dialysis Innovation, which has brought together dialysis innovators from around the world to create substantial technical progress. He is currently the principal investigator of the Kidney Precision Medicine Project, which is using deep molecular phenotypes of kidney biopsies along with longitudinally collected clinical phenotypic data to develop new disease ontologies, disease classification systems, and treatments for acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease.
Dr. Himmelfarb has held a number of significant positions nationally, serving ASN in many capacities, including as president. His advocacy efforts for the care of patients with kidney disease include chairing the Dialysis Advisory Group, chairing the ASN Public Policy Board, and co-chairing the ASN Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
He is a former associate editor of JASN and has served on the editorial boards of JASN, CJASN, Kidney International, Nature Reviews Nephrology, and BMC Medicine. He has served on expert panels for the US Food and Drug Administration, Veterans Health Administration, and other organizations and has held leadership roles on National Institutes of Health steering committees.
Dr. Himmelfarb received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, followed by a residency at Maine Medical Center and a nephrology fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital.