2014 Award Recipients

Robert G. Narins Award

Stuart L. Linas, MD, FASN

Stuart L. Linas, MD, FASN, will receive the Robert G. Narins Award for his many contributions to medical education.

Dr. Linas is the Rocky Mountain Professor of Renal Research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he has served on the faculty throughout his academic career. He has directed the renal fellowship program since 1984 and headed the section of hypertension within the division of renal diseases since 1994. He is also the chief of nephrology at Denver Health Medical Center.

Dr. Linas currently chairs the medical school’s curriculum steering committee. He has won many teaching awards from medical students and house staff at the University of Colorado. Among these awards are the best teacher in third and fourth year clinical curriculum, an excellence in teaching award for the second year class, and the outstanding faculty award for house staff teaching. He also won the outstanding faculty teaching award from Denver Health.

Dr. Linas is treasurer of the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a past chair of its subspecialty board on nephrology. He has served ASN on the board of advisors, as the chair of the renal fellowship program directors committee and the hypertension advisory group, and on the education committee. He has served as president of the Association of Specialty Professors and on the board of directors of the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine.

He was associate editor of Nutrition and High Blood Pressure Reviews. He has also served on the editorial boards of the Internal Yearbook of Nephrology; American Journal of Physiology: Renal, Fluid, & Electrolyte Physiology; American Journal of Kidney Diseases; American Journal of Nephrology; and Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

After earning a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, he completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and nephrology training at the University of Colorado.

John P. Peters Award

Josephine P. Briggs, MD

ASN will recognize the wide-ranging contributions of Josephine P. Briggs, MD, with the presentation of the John P. Peters Award.

An accomplished researcher and physician, Dr. Briggs is director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The John P. Peters Award is given for outstanding contributions to improving the lives of patients and to furthering the understanding of the kidney in health and disease, and Dr. Briggs’ research has added greatly to this understanding. In her current position, her focus on translational research is designed to bring a fuller understanding of the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health practices. She oversees an institute with a budget of $120 million that funds research at 260 institutions.

Dr. Briggs’ research interests include the renin-angiotensin system, diabetic nephropathy, circadian regulation of blood pressure, and the effect of antioxidants in kidney disease. She has published more than 175 research articles, book chapters, and scholarly papers.

She has served on the editorial boards of several journals—including the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, Seminars in Nephrology, and Hypertension—and was deputy editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

After working as a research scientist for seven years at the Physiology Institute at the University of Munich in Germany, Dr. Briggs joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1985. She held several academic positions, including associate chair for research in the department of internal medicine and professorships in nephrology, internal medicine, and physiology.

Dr. Briggs joined the NIH in 1997 as director of the division of kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. While there, she co-chaired an NIH Roadmap Committee on Translational Core Resources. In 2006, she accepted a position as senior scientific officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and returned to NIH in 2008 for her present position.

She has received the Volhard Prize of the German Nephrological Society, Alexander von Humboldt Scientific Exchange Award, and NIH Director’s awards. She is an elected member of the American Association of Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Investigation and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Briggs received her MD from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency in internal medicine and nephrology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Belding H. Scribner Award

Allan J. Collins, MD

The Belding H. Scribner Award will be tendered to Allan J. Collins, MD, for his career-long contributions to the practice of nephrology.

Dr. Collins is professor of medicine at the University School of Medicine and Hennepin County Medical Center and director of the Chronic Disease Research Group of the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation.

Established in 1995, the Belding H. Scribner Award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the care of patients with renal disorders or have substantially influenced the clinical practice of nephrology. Dr. Collins has made significant contributions in patient care, research, and service to professional organizations.

His clinical experience and research have focused on acute and chronic care of end-stage renal disease patients and clinical studies of dialysis techniques and outcomes. He has also done extensive work with high-efficiency dialysis, the technical elements of dialysis, billing systems, and computer systems and operations.

The Chronic Disease Research Group was founded as Nephrology Analytical Services, but under Dr. Collins’ leadership it has expanded beyond kidney disease to include other chronic conditions.

From 1983 to 1995, Dr. Collins managed the Metropolitan Dialysis Division and the clinical database of the Regional Kidney Disease Program at Hennepin County Medical Center, coordinating all areas of patient care, data collection, quality assurance, death reviews, computer systems, and analyses.

Dr. Collins has served the National Kidney Foundation in many capacities, including as president for three years. He has also been on the foundation’s scientific advisory board and its kidney dialysis outcomes quality initiative. He served on the Commission for the Global Advancement of Nephrology Committee of the International Society of Nephrology.

Homer W. Smith Award

Friedhelm Hildebrandt, MD

Acclaimed researcher Friedhelm Hildebrandt, MD, will receive the Homer W. Smith Award and deliver an address at Kidney Week on “Single-Gene Defects Elucidate Mechanisms of CKD.”

Dr. Hildebrandt is the Warren E. Grupe Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and chief of the division of nephrology at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Smith Award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to understanding how kidneys function in normal and diseased states, and Dr. Hildebrandt’s research has increased this understanding in several areas.

His research is concerned with the identification and functional characterization of recessive single-gene causes of kidney diseases in children, including nephrotic syndrome, cystic renal ciliopathies, and congenital anomalies of the kidney. His group has identified more than 50 novel causative genes for chronic kidney disease and delineated the related pathogenesis.

Dr. Hildebrandt’s lab studies the function of newly identified disease genes in disease models of mice and zebrafish as well as in cell-based systems. His work contributed to the early development of efficient methods for gene identification by combining homozygosity mapping with total human exome resequencing. His group recently discovered that DNA damage repair plays a role in the pathogenesis of ciliopathies.

His lab has also shown that in a very high percentage of cases of chronic kidney disease of childhood, a single gene may be identified using high-throughput sequencing techniques.

His lab’s research has been supported solely by peer-reviewed research grants, mostly from the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the March of Dimes, and the German Research Foundation. He has published more than 240 original articles.

Dr. Hildebrandt received his medical degree from Heidelberg University in Germany and his pediatric and nephrology training at Marburg University Children’s Hospital. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Yale University Medical School. He has received many awards, including the E. Mead Johnson Award from the Society for Pediatric Research, Franz Volhard Award from the German Society of Nephrology, and Lillian Jean Kaplan Award for Polycystic Kidney Disease Research. He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and the German National Academy of Sciences.

Young Investigator Award

Myles S. Wolf, MD

The ASN-AHA Young Investigator Award will be presented to Myles Wolf, MD, MMSc, for his groundbreaking research on mineral metabolism. He will describe his recent findings in an address: “Mineral (Mal)Adaptation to Kidney Disease.”

Dr. Wolf is the Margaret Gray Morton Professor of Medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. He is the founding director of the Center for Translational Metabolism and Health and director of the physician-scientist training program at Feinberg.

The focus of Dr. Wolf’s research is disordered mineral metabolism across the spectrum of chronic kidney disease, including dialysis, kidney transplantation, and earlier stages. His primary contributions have been in the area of hormonal regulation of phosphate homeostasis. He helped to characterize the physiological role of fibroblast growth factor 23 in health and in chronic kidney disease, and the impact of elevated levels on adverse clinical outcomes.

He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and Seminars in Nephrology, and as editor of the mineral metabolism section of Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension. Dr. Wolf has been invited to deliver numerous national and international lectures on his research, and he has received several teaching, mentoring, and research awards.

After serving on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for five years, Dr. Wolf moved to Florida and the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, where he eventually served as chief of the division of nephrology and hypertension, director of the clinical research center, and assistant dean for translational and clinical research. He joined the Feinberg School of Medicine in 2013.

Dr. Wolf received his medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn. He completed internal medicine training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a nephrology fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. During his research fellowship training, Dr. Wolf obtained a master’s of medical sciences in clinical and physiological investigation from Harvard Medical School.

President's Medal

Representative Tom Marino

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) will award the President's Medal to Congressional Kidney Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) and Rep. Jim McDermott, MD (D-WA). The two distinguished members of Congress will receive the award in a ceremony at the society's annual meeting, ASN Kidney Week 2014, in Philadelphia, PA, on Saturday, November 15. This honor recognizes their contributions to championing the cause of patients with kidney disease and raising awareness of the need for more research funding to develop needed cures.

Both Congressmen have deep personal interests in kidney conditions. Rep. Marino is a three-time survivor of kidney cancer and has had multiple nephrectomies. Rep. McDermott is not only a medical doctor, but he trained with his friend the legendary Belding Scribner, MD, in Seattle when dialysis was being developed in that city. Rep. McDermott co-founded the Congressional Kidney Caucus in 2002 to educate members of Congress and the public about the problem kidney disease poses for society and the federal government's role in providing access to life-sustaining treatment for those with severe disease.

"ASN applauds the work of the Congressional Kidney Caucus and its leadership," said ASN President Sharon M. Moe, MD, FASN. "Rep. McDermott and Rep. Marino have made enormous contributions to improve the lives of patients with kidney disease and we are grateful to their commitment to the kidney community."

As co-chairs of the Congressional Kidney Caucus, Reps. Marino and McDermott have raised awareness of kidney disease and the importance of increased investment in kidney research on Capitol Hill. They provided crucial early support for the Kidney Health Initiative and frequently serve as honorary co-hosts of ASN congressional briefings on kidney disease research. Both have supported home dialysis patients by encouraging the Secretary of Health & Human Services to update training payments for home dialysis and Rep. McDermott requested a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the key factors that affect home dialysis use. Rep. Marino recently supported ASN's research advocacy efforts by requesting a GAO report assessing the adequacy of the federal investment in research to combat kidney disease compared to the cost of care.

"By sharing my personal experiences with other members of Congress, I hope to increase the awareness and understanding of the circumstances that face millions of Americans who suffer from kidney disease," said Rep. Marino. A former U.S. attorney with a background in manufacturing, he joined Congress in 2010.

"Given my longstanding personal interest in kidney disease and that I represent Seattle, the birthplace of dialysis, I am honored to be receiving this important award from ASN. I commend the society and its members for their commitment to treating, researching, and advocating to improve the lives of those affected by kidney disease." After completing his medical training, Rep. McDermott joined the U.S. Navy before specializing in psychiatry at the University of Washington Medical Center. He was soon elected to the state legislature, and split his time to continue to practice medicine. Rep McDermott joined Congress in 1988 and is serving his 12th term. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, enabling him to play an influential role in a wide range of issues, including Medicare.

Representative Jim McDermott

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) will award the President's Medal to Congressional Kidney Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) and Rep. Jim McDermott, MD (D-WA). The two distinguished members of Congress will receive the award in a ceremony at the society's annual meeting, ASN Kidney Week 2014, in Philadelphia, PA, on Saturday, November 15. This honor recognizes their contributions to championing the cause of patients with kidney disease and raising awareness of the need for more research funding to develop needed cures.

Both Congressmen have deep personal interests in kidney conditions. Rep. Marino is a three-time survivor of kidney cancer and has had multiple nephrectomies. Rep. McDermott is not only a medical doctor, but he trained with his friend the legendary Belding Scribner, MD, in Seattle when dialysis was being developed in that city. Rep. McDermott co-founded the Congressional Kidney Caucus in 2002 to educate members of Congress and the public about the problem kidney disease poses for society and the federal government's role in providing access to life-sustaining treatment for those with severe disease.

"ASN applauds the work of the Congressional Kidney Caucus and its leadership," said ASN President Sharon M. Moe, MD, FASN. "Rep. McDermott and Rep. Marino have made enormous contributions to improve the lives of patients with kidney disease and we are grateful to their commitment to the kidney community."

As co-chairs of the Congressional Kidney Caucus, Reps. Marino and McDermott have raised awareness of kidney disease and the importance of increased investment in kidney research on Capitol Hill. They provided crucial early support for the Kidney Health Initiative and frequently serve as honorary co-hosts of ASN congressional briefings on kidney disease research. Both have supported home dialysis patients by encouraging the Secretary of Health & Human Services to update training payments for home dialysis and Rep. McDermott requested a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the key factors that affect home dialysis use. Rep. Marino recently supported ASN's research advocacy efforts by requesting a GAO report assessing the adequacy of the federal investment in research to combat kidney disease compared to the cost of care.

"By sharing my personal experiences with other members of Congress, I hope to increase the awareness and understanding of the circumstances that face millions of Americans who suffer from kidney disease," said Rep. Marino. A former U.S. attorney with a background in manufacturing, he joined Congress in 2010.

"Given my longstanding personal interest in kidney disease and that I represent Seattle, the birthplace of dialysis, I am honored to be receiving this important award from ASN. I commend the society and its members for their commitment to treating, researching, and advocating to improve the lives of those affected by kidney disease." After completing his medical training, Rep. McDermott joined the U.S. Navy before specializing in psychiatry at the University of Washington Medical Center. He was soon elected to the state legislature, and split his time to continue to practice medicine. Rep McDermott joined Congress in 1988 and is serving his 12th term. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, enabling him to play an influential role in a wide range of issues, including Medicare.