The American Society of Nephrology will honor five nephrology leaders during the society’s annual meeting, ASN Kidney Week 2017, held Oct. 31–Nov. 5 in New Orleans. 

Joel M. Topf—Robert G. Narins Award

The Robert G. Narins Award honors individuals who have made substantial and meritorious contributions in education and teaching.

Joel M. Topf, MD, will be presented with this year’s Robert G. Narins Award. Topf is a partner at St. Clair Nephrology, where he is a full time private practice nephrologist, and is a member of the nephrology fellowship faculty at St. John Hospital in Detroit. Additionally, he is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and Wayne State University School of Medicine. He is the Medical Director of St. Clair Nephrology Research and acts as a PI on various pharmaceutical trials.

A passionate and enthusiastic clinician and teacher, he has made unique contributions to the nephrology community and trainees across the world by leveraging the power of personal computers and social media for medical education. His work has penetrated other disciplines such as emergency medicine, critical care, and cardiology. Due to his efforts, he has received awards for Best Instructor: Renal and Urinary Course at Oakland University William Beaumont in 2012 and 2013 and Teacher of the Year at Providence Hospital in 2014. Additionally, he has contributed to a number of nephrology textbooks and peer-reviewed papers while running his own nephrology blog, Precious Bodily Fluids: the Musings of a Salt Whisperer and contributing to AJKDblog.

Topf is perhaps most well-known on social media, where his twitter handle, @kidney_boy, has close to 10,000 followers. He is a Co-founder of NephMadness, an online medical education project inspired by March Madness, as well as NephJC, a Twitter-based nephrology journal club. He is also a member of the ASN Media and Communications Committee, plays an active role in planning and implementing #AskASN Twitter chats, and is a member of the CJASN Visual Abstract editorial team.

Ronald J. Falk—John P. Peters Award

The John P. Peters Award recognizes individuals 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.

Ronald J. Falk, MD, FASN, Director of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Kidney Center and Chair of UNC’s Department of Medicine will be awarded the John P. Peters Award. He holds the Nan and Hugh Cullman Eminent Professorship in Nephrology. Falk has actively served ASN in many capacities since 1995, including on the ASN council, as ASN President from 2011–2012, and on various ASN committees and editorial boards.

Falk also founded the ASN Foundation for Kidney Research in 2012 and the Kidney Health Initiative. He is a Fellow of both the American Society of Nephrology and the American College of Physicians, and has been named one of the “Best Doctors in America.”

Falk’s research focuses on immune mediated kidney diseases, especially glomerulonephritis. His clinical and basic science interests include both ANCA glomerulonephritis and small vessel vasculitis. Dr. Falk aims to learn about the causes of ANCA necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis, and participates in a research group that has revealed a number of avenues of investigation and new approaches to ongoing questions that span not only nephrology, but autoimmunity, inflammation, and basic neutrophil and monocyte biology.

Raymond M. Hakim—Belding H. Scribner Award

The Belding H. Scribner Award is presented annually to one or more individuals who have made outstanding contributions that have a direct impact on the care of patients with renal disorders or have substantially changed the clinical practice of nephrology.

Raymond M. Hakim, MD, PhD will be honored with the Belding H. Scribner Award for his career-long contributions to the practice of nephrology, including outstanding patient care, research, mentorship, and service to professional organizations. He currently is an attending physician and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University.

In addition to an active clinical practice as well as teaching and mentoring, Dr. Hakim has developed and maintained a robust clinical research program where he has made notable scientific contributions in areas such as biocompatible hemodialysis membranes, interventions to treat protein-energy wasting in ESRD patients, and promoting the use of AV fistulas. Hakim has also passionately served in several ASN-related educational and policy activities as well as on various committees. As one of the representatives of ASN in Kidney Care Partners, he advocated for increased government funding for research in kidney disease that has resulted in a congressional request to the GAO to study funding discrepancy related to kidney disease.

Martin R. Pollak—Homer W. Smith Award

The Homer W. Smith Award is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions which fundamentally affect the science of nephrology, broadly defined, but not limited to, the pathobiology, cellular and molecular mechanisms, and genetic influences on the functions and diseases of the kidney.

This year’s Homer W. Smith Award will be given to Martin R. Pollak, MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, for his contributions to the field of nephrology using the tools of human genetics to study rare syndromes that illuminate renal health and diseases as well as common genetic drivers of disease risk, especially kidney health disparities in minority populations.

Pollak’s current research is focused on identifying and understanding genes involved in the development of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), in addition to studying the extracellular calcium receptor. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Pollak has published more than 100 papers over the course of his career and has served editorial roles with various organizations including the Editorial Boards of JASN and Kidney International.

Chirag R. Parikh—ASN–AHA Young Investigator Award

The ASN–AHA Young Investigator Award is presented annually to an individual with an outstanding record of achievement and creativity in basic patient-oriented research related to the function and diseases of the kidney

The ASN–AHA Young Investigator Award will be presented to Chirag R. Parikh, MD, PhD, FASN for his groundbreaking research on translational and epidemiological aspects of acute kidney injury. He is a Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Program of Applied Translational Research in the Department of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is also a Professor in the Clinical Epidemiology Research Center at the VA Connecticut Health Care System.

Parikh’s major research interest is developing novel biomarkers of AKI. He is the Principal Investigator of the NIH-sponsored TRIBE-AKI consortium that is conducting large studies for validating novel kidney injury biomarkers in the settings of cardiac surgery, kidney transplantation, diabetic kidney disease and hepatorenal syndrome. Parikh has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed papers, 50 book chapters and reviews, and he has given more than 50 invited lectures at scientific meetings and academic institutions around the world.