Cardio/Renal Research Symposium

Cardio/Renal Research Symposium

Thursday, May 24th, 8:30am – 2pm, Bornstein Amphitheatre, Cabot Atrium, and Zinner Boardroom

The Brigham Research Institute’s Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Research Center in collaboration with the Division of Renal Medicine hosted its first Cardio-Renal Research Symposium featuring the 2018 Helen Randall Dunham Lecturer for Research in Renal and Cardiovascular Medicine, Andrew Levey, MD, Professor of Medicine at Tufts University. With such a vast depth of knowledge, science, innovation, and research present in one place at a single point in time, there was a feeling of anticipation and excitement among the over 100 attendees that were at the symposium.

The morning commenced with a Renal-centered keynote lecture from Dr. Levey who spoke about the usefulness of estimating Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) in clinical practice, research and public health. Dr. Levey further laid out the physiological principles that the equations for estimating GFR are based on and highlighted ongoing trials in representative populations to identify new filtration markers and improve GFR estimates.

Following Dr. Levey’s renal keynote was a series of short oral presentations selected from submitted abstracts. This group of talented young investigators included: Muthiah Vaduganathan, MD, MPH, Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Cardiovascular MedicineSerum and Urine Renal Biomarkers and Cardiovascular Risk in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Recent Acute Coronary Syndromes from the EXAMINE Trial; Sanjay Ranjit, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Aminopeptidase 1 in Salt-Sensitive Blood PressureYiming Zhou, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Renal Medicine, A small molecule inhibitor of TRPC5 ion channels suppresses progressive kidney disease in animal modelsAmrendra Ajay, PhD, Instructor, Division of Renal Medicine, CRISPR mediated activation of STAT3 upregulates profibrotic response in pericytes.  In addition to having the opportunity to showcase their research, each of these presenters also received a cash prize as a reward for being selected.

After the morning presentations there was a poster session in Cabot Atrium that drew in a lively crowd, promoting interactions and collaborations among investigators who were able to showcase their research to the diverse community of investigatorsWhile it was a difficult task to choose from such an impressive collection of posters, three researchers rose to the top and received a distinguished award and cash prize: Li Li, MD, Instructor, Division of Renal Medicine, Orphan nuclear receptor COUP-TFII regulates pericyte activation and contributes to kidney fibrosisYutaro Mori, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Renal Medicine, Proximal tubular uptake of free fatty acid (FFA) by Kidney Injury Molecule-1 (KIM-1) mediates tubulointerstitial disease in diabetic nephropathy (DN); Maria Beatriz Monteiro, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology, HITS, A High-Throughput Screen Identifies Novel Targets for Kidney Tubular Regeneration. 

After lunch, Dr. Levey once again presented to a large audience in the Zinner Breakout Room where he delivered his Cardio-centered keynote address focusing on the importance of using estimated GFR and albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) in clinical practice and research to detect chronic kidney disease and predict cardiovascular disease. Dr. Levey further highlighted the challenges associated with improving clinical practice and testing new strategies for the prevention and treatment of kidney and cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Marc Pfeffer introduced Dr. Levey to the crowd, describing him as undoubtedly being the focal point of understanding the heart and the kidney. However, Dr. Levey’s contributions to kidney health have extended beyond his outstanding scientific contributions to the field: in 2009 he was also a kidney donor through the New England Program for Kidney Exchange.

Overall, this event was a huge success, with over 107 people in attendance throughout the course of the day. The goal of this symposium was to bring together clinicians and researchers working in various fields from cardiovascular to nephrology to encourage cross-collaborative research efforts and stimulate new ideas for further investigation. With the staggering amount of information and data presented during the symposium, as well as the positive attendance at each session, it is imperative that events such as this one continue to be held to promote the impressive depth and breadth of research and resources available at the Brigham.

Poster Winners:

Li Li, MD: Orphan nuclear receptor COUP-TFII regulates pericyte activation and contributes to kidney fibrosis

Yutaro Mori, MD, PhD: Proximal tubular uptake of free fatty acid (FFA) by Kidney Injury Molecule-1 (KIM-1) mediates tubulointerstitial disease in diabetic nephropathy (DN)

Maria Beatriz Monteiro, PhD: A High-Throughput Screen Identifies Novel Targets for Kidney Tubular Regeneration