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Yale Contributions Shape ASN Kidney Week 2023

October 24, 2023
by Osman Moneer

In the world of nephrology, there's one event that stands out above the rest, drawing thousands of professionals from around the globe—the American Society of Nephrology's Kidney Week. This annual event features a rich array of sessions, speakers, and insights into the ever-evolving field of kidney care. This year, Kidney Week takes place in Philadelphia, Pa., with over 12,000 planned attendees.

Several individuals from the Yale’s Section of Nephrology made significant contributions to this year’s event. Mark Perazella, MD, professor of medicine (nephrology) played a pivotal role in shaping Kidney Week as one of two co-chairs for the conference.

Perazella’s selection as co-chair for the Kidney Week Program committee recognized his decades of service as a national and international leader in kidney disease. As co-chair of Kidney Week, he was responsible for working with the committee to craft the program, which involved overseeing the creation of all of the early programs, the scientific meeting sessions, and the educational symposia. Addressing the varying demands and expectations of the broad audience, Perazella helped to secure high-profile plenary speakers that included Nobel laureates, climate change experts, and pioneers in infectious disease research.

The week of events begins with the early programs, a mix of in-person and virtual sessions spanning seven subtopics in nephrology. This year’s conference introduced two new topics for “Genetics in Clinical Nephrology” and “Nephrocardiology: an emerging field in medicine.” The other topics to be covered are renal pathology, advances in research, glomerular disease, kidney transplantation, and maintenance dialysis. Aside from these seven early programs, participants could attend educational symposia in the first two days of the conference.

The core of the conference lies in the scientific program, occurring over four days and featuring prominent experts in nephrology. The scientific program includes sessions pertaining to basic and clinical science, clinical practice, and translational science. Additionally, conference participants could attend a range of other special sessions related to policy, healthcare equity, women in nephrology, clinical trials, and more.

“The special sessions dedicated to health equity and LGBTQ+ health in nephrology are important,” Perazella said. “They stress the importance of nephrologists being well-prepared to care for patients of all backgrounds, such as transgender individuals. Achieving this diversity can be challenging in certain areas due to limited availability, but we overcame these obstacles through persistence."

In his work as co-chair, Perazella sought to bring in fresh perspectives and ensure a diverse representation of speakers and experts. Kidney Week strives to reflect the rich tapestry of the nephrology community, encompassing all age groups, gender identities, and geographic locations. Perazella emphasized the importance of having rising stars alongside established figures, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas.

“Diversity encompasses a wide range of factors, not only age and gender but all aspects,” Perazella said. “The goal was to incorporate not just seasoned professors but also up-and-coming individuals who show promise. This commitment extended to both the Educational Program Committee responsible for organizing the meeting and the speakers and contributors involved in sessions.”

In addition to Perazella, Whitney Besse, MD, associate professor of medicine (section of nephrology), also contributed to the organizational planning of Kidney Week. She served as a member of the Kidney Week Educational Program Committee and helped design the Genetics of Kidney Disease sessions, abstracts, and other presentations.

Many Yale faculty are participating as abstract reviewers, speakers and moderators for the meeting, including Anushree Shirali, MD, associate professor of medicine (nephrology); Justin Belcher, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine (nephrology); Sherry Mansour, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine (nephrology); Lloyd Cantley, MD, C.N.H. Long Professor of Medicine (nephrology); Shuta Ishibe, MD, professor of medicine (nephrology); Madhav Menon, MBBS, MD, associate professor of medicine (nephrology); Michael Caplan, PhD, MD, C. N. H. Long Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and professor of cell biology; and Richard Formica, MD, professor of medicine (nephrology). Additionally, fellows and faculty from Yale will present their research, contributing to the wealth of knowledge shared at the event.

With a broad focus on education, clinical practice, and research, Kidney Week 2023 showcases the full gamut of nephrology. To learn more about the event, visit their website.

The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale is among the nation's premier departments, bringing together an elite cadre of clinicians, investigators, educators, and staff in one of the world's top medical schools. To learn more, visit Internal Medicine.

Submitted by Julie Parry on October 24, 2023