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Ishibe Wins ASN Distinguished Researcher Award

July 29, 2020
by Julie Parry

Shuta Ishibe, MD, associate professor of medicine (nephrology) won the 2020 Distinguished Researcher Award from the American Society of Nephrology (ASN).

Per the ASN, this award acknowledges “individuals who have made substantial research contributions in nephrology, and display innovation and excellence in research to advance the science and/or practice of nephrology.”

Ishibe cites the team effort of his lab for the recognition. “It's always nice to be kind of recognized by your own guild, because you don’t go into research thinking that you're going to get awards, that's not the goal,” said Ishibe. “It is to find new discoveries and hopefully that that'll come into fruition for patient care in the future. It is a team effort too. Although I get the award, it's not just about me, but it's about the people in my lab that made this possible.”

Ishibe was nominated by Peter Aronson, MD, C. N. H. Long Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) and Professor of Cellular And Molecular Physiology. In his nomination letter, Aronson highlighted Ishibe’s research contributions.

“Dr. Shuta Ishibe has made seminal contributions elucidating the mechanisms of proteinuric diseases and identifying novel therapeutics through his studies on clathrin-mediated endocytosis and focal adhesion signaling in podocytes, the cells lining the capillary loops of the kidney filtration barrier. His discoveries have provided a framework to understand how slit diaphragm proteins are recycled through clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and how focal adhesion proteins link integrins to actin in order to maintain a properly functioning filtration barrier. He has also identified HDAC as a novel therapeutic target for treatment of proteinuric kidney disease.”

Ishibe came to Yale School of Medicine (YSM) as a fellow in 2001. He cites Yale as a place that supports research, and is collaborative and collegial. While in medical school at UT Southwestern in Dallas, he met former YSM Dean Robert Alpern, MD, Ensign Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, who suggested he look at Yale for his fellowship. Ishibe was looking for physicians who would be role models in the ‘triple threat’- research, clinical care, and teaching.

“And then when you come here, you meet people like Lloyd Cantley, Peter Aronson, Gary Desir, or Steve Somlo. They are the ‘entire physician’ in the sense that they could do research, clinical care, and teach, the triple threat. They motivate you to aspire to be like them,” said Ishibe.

“I think this award is a testament to Yale itself, because you have to have the right environment for these things to happen, where you have to have the right mentors, you have the right post-docs, the students, etc.”

Yale’s Section of Nephrology is committed to excellence in patient care, research, and education with the goal for both their faculty and trainees to be national and international leaders in the field of academic nephrology. To learn more about their mission and work, visit Nephrology.

Submitted by Julie Parry on July 29, 2020