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To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

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2018 Award Recipients

Robert G. Narins Award

Nancy Day Adams, MD

Nancy Day Adams, MD, will receive the Robert G. Narins Award on Saturday, October 27, for her many efforts in education and training the next generation of nephrologists.

Dr. Adams is professor emeritus after retiring as professor of clinical medicine in nephrology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. She retired in March 2017 as chief of the division of nephrology, a position she held for more than 20 years. She was also training program director in nephrology for a similar time.

She has been active in medical education throughout her career, teaching in all four years of medical school. She headed the Liaison Committee on Medical Education task force for the school of medicine and was a women’s liaison officer to the American Association of Medical Colleges. She was the founding director of electives for pre-clinical medical students, participating in curriculum reform. She has been involved in resident and fellow teaching and served as mentor, adviser, and career counselor for many future specialists.

For ASN, Dr. Adams served as director of education for fellowship training, chaired the training program directors’ executive committee, and was a founding member of the Workforce and Training Committee. She served as point person for nephrology on the Association of Specialty Professors Council. She was program chair for two years of the joint Women in Nephrology–ASN professional development seminar. She also served on the education committee of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

She was active in conducting patient-centered research, including retrospective reviews of dialysis care in prisoners and patients with genetic diseases.

Belding H. Scribner Award

John T. Daugirdas, MD, FASN

The Belding H. Scribner Award will be tendered to John T. Daugirdas, MD, FASN, on Saturday, October 27, for his career-long contributions to the practice of nephrology. Dr. Daugirdas is Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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. Daugirdas has made significant contributions in patient care, research, and service to professional organizations.

Dr. Daugirdas has spent many years investigating how best to use various forms of dialysis to treat patients who have CKD. He has focused on two areas of critical importance to dialysis patients: dialysis adequacy and dialysis hypotension.

Under his leadership, the University of Illinois participated as a Clinical Center in the HEMO Trial, a major randomized trial looking at dialysis adequacy. He also participated in the Frequent Hemodialysis Network Trials, which evaluated the potential benefits of dialysis given more frequently than 3 times per week.

Dr. Daugirdas is co-editor of the Handbook of Dialysis and editor of the Handbook of Chronic Kidney Disease Management. In 1995, he founded a Web journal, Hypertension, Dialysis and Clinical Nephrology, which continues to highlight advances in nephrology including articles, abstracts, and meeting presentations. He is current editor of Hemodialysis International.

He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, American Journal of Chronic Kidney Disease, American Journal of Nephrology, and Nephron Clinical Practice. He has previously been on the editorial boards of Kidney International, International Journal of Artificial Organs, American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) Journal, Dialysis and Transplantation, Journal of Blood Purification, and American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

He has served on guideline-writing committees, the ASAIO program committee and membership committee, the International Society of Nephrology informatics committee, meeting planning committees of the National Kidney Foundation, National Institutes of Health committees, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services technical expert panels.

Dr. Daugirdas is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Honors Program in Medical Education at Chicago. He completed a surgical internship at Boston University, a surgical residency at McGill University in Montreal, and an internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, Ill.

John P. Peters Award

William Griffith Couser, MD, FASN

ASN will recognize the wide-ranging contributions of William G. Couser, MD, FASN, with the presentation of the John P. Peters Award on Saturday, October 27.

The John P. Peters Award is given to those who have made substantial research contributions to the discipline of nephrology and have sustained achievements in one or more domains of academic medicine including clinical care, education, and leadership.

Dr. Couser is affiliate professor of medicine in the division of nephrology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. From 1982 through 2004, he was the Belding H. Scribner Professor of Medicine and (through 2002) head of the division of nephrology.

Dr. Couser’s career is remarkable for the breadth and importance of his contributions to nephrology. His achievements include seminal research that changed the way in which the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis is understood, important clinical studies, leadership of the two largest renal organizations in the world, editorship of the world’s top-ranked nephrology journal, involvement in education and advancing nephrology in the developing world, and training nephrologists who have gone on to their own distinguished careers.

He has served as president of both ASN and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN). He directed the ISN Global Outreach Programs for five years, organizing educational events in 61 developing countries. As ISN president in 1996, he designated the second Thursday of March each year as World Kidney Day, an event now celebrated in over 100 countries.

Dr. Couser is internationally recognized for his research elucidating disease processes of the kidney, particularly immunologic mechanisms of kidney diseases and glomerulonephritis. His work was instrumental in changing the understanding of the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis to the current concept that most forms are autoimmune diseases with injury resulting primarily from immune deposit formation.

He has published more than 340 peer-reviewed scientific articles, reviews, and book chapters; lectured in more than 60 countries; and won several teaching awards for his ability to depict complex mechanisms using unique animated slides he creates himself. He is co-editor of the reference textbook Immunologic Kidney Diseases. From 2001 to 2007, he was editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

His many honors include the David Hume Award of the National Kidney Foundation and the Joel Kopple Award of the International Federation of Kidney Foundations.

Dr. Couser received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed residencies in internal medicine at the University of California in San Francisco and at Boston City Hospital and fellowship training in nephrology at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine before joining the faculty there in 1972. He was on the faculty at Boston University from 1973 to 1982, when he moved to the University of Washington in Seattle. He retired from clinical and administrative responsibilities in 2004 to devote full time to his editorial responsibilities and international promotion of nephrology.

Homer W. Smith Award

M. Amin Arnaout, MD, FASN

Acclaimed physician-scientist M. Amin Arnaout, MD, FASN, will be presented the 2018 Homer W. Smith Award on Friday, October 26. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to understanding how kidneys function in normal and diseased states.

Dr. Arnaout will speak on “Integrins and Kidney Diseases: Basic Concepts and Clinical Implications.”

Dr. Arnaout is professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, principal investigator at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he directs the leukocyte biology/inflammation and the structural biology programs.

He has made seminal contributions to basic and translational medical research for more than three decades through more than 200 publications. His discovery of the cell adhesion receptors known as integrins formed a foundation for development of new anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombosis, and anti-fibrosis drugs for treating common diseases affecting the kidney, heart, and other organs.

Dr. Arnaout also made seminal discoveries in other kidney-related fields. He elucidated the autoantibody nature of C3 nephritic factor, revealed the molecular basis of hemodialysis leukopenia, identified neutrophil proteinase 3 as the target antigen of cytoplasmic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (c-ANCA), elucidated the role of polycystin 1 in the vasculopathy of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, and developed a microfluidic kidney proximal tubule-on-chip device.

Dr. Arnaout served as chief of nephrology at Massachusetts General from 1998 to 2013. During his tenure, the division became the country’s largest academic center for patient care, physician training, and research in kidney diseases, hypertension, and transplantation. The division’s growth led to a tripling of clinical outpatient visits, a greater than 30% increase in the number of kidney transplants, and a tripling of federal research funding.

He started the hospital’s annual Kidney Care day in 2002, a program that has been adopted worldwide. Dr. Arnaout trained generations of physician-scientists, doctoral students, and clinicians who have assumed leading positions at academic centers and in the biotech industry.

Dr. Arnaout has served the profession in many capacities, including as program chair of the 1998 ASN Renal Week and chair of the ASN Science Committee. He served as a council member of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and on study sections at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Arnaout’s many awards include the ASN Presidential Medal for Excellence Award, the NIH Young Investigator Award, ISN Donald Seldin lectureship awards, and the 2017 Kuwait prize in science.

He received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut, followed by an internal medicine residency at its medical center. He completed nephrology and immunology fellowships at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.

Donald W. Seldin Young Investigator Award

Morgan Grams, MD, PhD

The Donald W. Seldin Young Investigator Award cosponsored by ASN and the American Heart Association Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease will be presented to Morgan Grams, MD, PhD, MHS, who will speak on “Using Population Data to Inform Patient Care in Nephrology” on Sunday, October 28.

Dr. Grams is associate professor of medicine and epidemiology in the division of nephrology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is director of nephrology initiatives for the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium, an 11-million participant global consortium with a coordinating center at Johns Hopkins.

She also maintains active research programs in the metabolomics and genomics of kidney diseases as well as drug safety in CKD. Research in the Morgan Grams Lab focuses on preventing and ameliorating the complications associated with CKD. Recent work includes examining the racial differences in and prognostic value of biomarkers of hyperglycemia. The researchers have also developed an online tool to help identify living kidney donor candidates by weighing a variety of factors to assess the long-term risk of end stage renal disease.

Dr. Grams has worked with several studies, including the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study and the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium.

She serves as associate editor of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases and is on the editorial board of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. She is a peer reviewer for eight journals, including the Lancet.

She has served as a professional development award grant reviewer for the National Kidney Foundation, abstract reviewer for the American Diabetes Association, and an abstract reviewer for ASN Kidney Week.

Dr. Grams received the Gold Humanism Award from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Young Investigator Award from the American Transplant Congress. She received her medical degree from Columbia University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed an internal medicine residency at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University and a nephrology fellowship at Johns Hopkins. ASN thanks the American Heart Association’s Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease for co-sponsorship of the Donald W. Seldin Young Investigator Award.