Researcher in Pathogenesis of Kidney Diseases to Speak on Genetic Discoveries

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Alessia Fornoni, MD, PhD, FASN

Citation: Kidney News 15, 10/11

A researcher known internationally for her work in chronic kidney disease will speak on “Podocyte Lipid Handling as a Therapeutic Target for Collagenopathy” in the Michelle P. Winn, MD, Endowed Lectureship on Friday, November 3. The lecture will be presented during a session titled “Translation of Genetic Discoveries in Nephrotic Syndrome.”

Alessia Fornoni, MD, PhD, FASN, is a tenured professor of medicine as well as molecular and cellular pharmacology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She is also the chief of the Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and director of The Peggy and Harold Katz Family Drug Discovery Center.

Dr. Fornoni gained experience in drug development as global head of discovery in cardiovascular and metabolism at F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland. She founded several start-up companies focused on finding a cure for patients affected by chronic kidney disease.

As a physician-scientist whose research program has provided novel and seminal contributions to our understanding of the pathogenesis of kidney diseases, her research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, industry, and private foundations.

Dr. Fornoni's pioneering work on insulin signaling, cholesterol metabolism, and sphingolipid-related pathways uncovered novel pathogenetic mechanisms and therapeutic approaches for glomerular disorders that have been successfully translated into ongoing clinical trials. Her internationally recognized research findings have challenged existing paradigms and have dramatically altered the research direction in these areas. She envisions bringing together industry, investors, and not-for-profit organizations to the table to match science with innovation and patients' motivation to find a cure for kidney diseases.

Dr. Fornoni has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Diabetes, Kidney International, and Kidney360 and is associate editor of Glomerular Diseases. She has served as guest editor of Current Diabetes Reviews and Frontiers in Endocrinology.

She has been a visiting professor at more than 50 academic institutions and international meetings worldwide. She serves as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and several other leading organizations. Dr. Fornoni has received many teaching and mentorship awards. She received her MD and PhD in medical pharmacology from the University of Pavia in Italy.