ASN will present the Barbara T. Murphy Trailblazer Award to Rulan S. Parekh, MD, MS, FASN, on Thursday, November 2. This is just the third presentation of this award, which honors leaders who strengthen the foundation of nephrology while advancing the field through innovation, creativity, inspiration, and tenacity.
Dr. Parekh is vice president of academics at Women's College Hospital, responsible for research, innovation and education; a staff nephrologist at Women's College Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children; and professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Toronto. She is a trailblazer who has often been the first woman—and the first woman of color—in the many leadership roles she has held, and she continues to break barriers in nephrology and beyond.
Dr. Parekh is a clinician-scientist, nephrologist, and international leader in clinical epidemiology and translational research in kidney diseases. She is known for a genetic discovery that accounts for a higher risk of chronic kidney disease among those of African ancestry. Her discoveries revolutionized the understanding of genetic risk factors for kidney diseases when she identified the genetic locus that accounts for 70% of the prevalence of end stage kidney disease among African Americans. Her research is now focused on determining the utility of genetic screening for kidney diseases in sub-Saharan Africa in children and adults.
Dr. Parekh has been an active member of ASN since 1995, serving on the Scientific Organizing Committee and as associate editor of CJASN. Additional editorial positions include serving on the boards of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, and BMC Nephrology. In addition to supporting ASN's mentoring resource development, she has mentored hundreds of students and post-doctoral trainees and is a steadfast advocate for equity in science and medicine.
She chairs the International Society of Nephrology North America and the Caribbean Regional Board and is a member of the Standing Committee on Science of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the medical review panel for the Gairdner Foundation.
Dr. Parekh has received many awards, including the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland & Delaware Research Award, the C. Phillips Rance Nephrology Award of Merit, the American Nephrologists of Indian Origin Award for Clinical Excellence, and the ASN Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar Grant.
She received her MD from Albany Medical College and her MS in clinical research design and biostatistics from the University of Michigan. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and pediatrics, a nephrology fellowship, and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Michigan, as well as a research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.