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News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

A newly discovered molecule increases appetite during fasting -- and decreases it during gorging. The neuron-exciting protein, named NPGL - apparently aims to maintain body mass at a constant, come feast or famine. An evolutionary masterstroke, but not great news for those looking to trim down -- or beef up for the summer. Over recent decades, our understanding of hunger has greatly increased, but this new discovery turns things on their head. Up until now, scientists knew that leptin -- a hormone released by fatty tissue, reduces appetite, while ghrelin -- a hormone released by stomach tissue makes us want to eat more. These hormones, in turn, activate a host of neurons in the brain's hypothalamus -- the body's energy control center. The discovery of NPGL by Professor Kazuyoshi Ukena of Hiroshima University shows that hunger and energy consumption mechanisms are even more complex than we realized -- and that NPGL plays a central role in what were thought to be well-understood processes. Professor Ukena first discovered NPGL in chickens after noticing that growing birds grew larger irrespective of diet -- suggesting there was more to energy metabolism than meets the eye. Intrigued, the researchers at HU performed a DNA database search to see if mammals might also possess this elusive substance. They found that it exists in all vertebrates - including humans. In order to investigate its role, if any, in mammals, Professor Ukena's team fed three groups of mice, on three distinct diets, to see how NPGL levels are altered. The first set of mice was fed on a low-calorie diet for 24 hours. The second group was fed on a high-fat diet for 5 weeks -- and the third lucky group was fed on a high-fat diet, but for an extended period of 13 weeks. The mice fed on a low calorie diet were found to experience an extreme increase in NPGL expression, while the 5-week high-fat-diet group saw a large decrease in NPGL expression. Further analysis found that mice possess NPGL, and its associated neuron network, in the exact same locations of the brain as those regions already known to control appetite suppression and energy use. Professor Ukena proposes that NPGL plays a vital role in these mechanisms -- increasing appetite when energy levels fall and reducing appetite when an energy overload is detected -- together, helping to keep us at a healthy and functioning weight, and more importantly alive! As NPGL levels greatly increased in mice exposed to a low calorie diet, Professor Ukena believes it is an appetite promoter, working in opposition to appetite suppressing hormones such as leptin. Backing this hypothesis up, it was found that mice directly injected with NPGL exhibited a voracious appetite. Interestingly NPGL levels, which plummeted in the 5-week-long high-fat-diet mice - fell back to normal levels in mice who gorged themselves for the longer period of 13 weeks. It is proposed that exposure to high-fat diets for long periods of time lead to insensitivity to leptin's appetite-suppressing effects, and so NPGL -- even at normal levels - leads to weight gain and obesity, showing that the body can only do so much to keep our weight in check. Professor Ukena says that further study is required to understand the interaction of previously known appetite mechanisms with this new kid on the homeostasis block. It does seem however, that we still have a lot to learn about appetite, hunger, and energy consumption. It is hoped that this study into mammalian NPGL adds another piece to the puzzle. What is certain -- but you knew this already - is that dieting is difficult. The discovery and study of mammalian NPGL helps explain why, and provides a plausible excuse for those whose good intentions fall short. The findings were published in Endocrinology.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

(New York - May 5, 2017) - Much is known about flu viruses, but little is understood about how they reproduce inside human host cells, spreading infection. Now, a research team headed by investigators from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is the first to identify a mechanism by which influenza A, a family of pathogens that includes the most deadly strains of flu worldwide, hijacks cellular machinery to replicate. The study findings, published online today in Cell, also identifies a link between congenital defects in that machinery -- the RNA exosome -- and the neurodegeneration that results in people who have that rare mutation. It was by studying the cells of patients with an RNA exosome mutation, which were contributed by six collaborating medical centers, that the investigators were able to understand how influenza A hijacks the RNA exosome inside a cell's nucleus for its own purposes. "This study shows how we can discover genes linked to disease -- in this case, neurodegeneration -- by looking at the natural symbiosis between a host and a pathogen," says the study's senior investigator, Ivan Marazzi, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Influenza A is responsible in part not only for seasonal flus but also pandemics such as H1N1 and other flus that cross from mammals (such as swine) or birds into humans. "We are all a result of co-evolution with viruses, bacteria, and other microbes, but when this process is interrupted, which we call the broken symmetry hypothesis, disease can result," Dr. Marazzi says. The genes affected in these rare cases of neurodegeneration caused by a congenital RNA exosome mutation may offer future insight into more common brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, he added. In the case of Influenza A, the loss of RNA exosome activity severely compromises viral infectivity, but also manifests in human neurodegeneration suggesting that viruses target essential proteins implicated in rare disease in order to ensure continual adaptation. Influenza A is an RNA virus, meaning that it reproduces itself inside the nucleus. Most viruses replicate in a cell's cytoplasm, outside the nucleus. The researchers found that once inside the nucleus, influenza A hijacks the RNA exosome, an essential protein complex that degrades RNA as a way to regulate gene expression. The flu pathogen needs extra RNA to start the replication process so it steals these molecules from the hijacked exosome, Dr. Marazzi says. "Viruses have a very intelligent way of not messing too much with our own biology," he says. "It makes use of our by-products, so rather than allowing the exosome to chew up and degrade excess RNA, it tags the exosome and steals the RNA it needs before it is destroyed. "Without an RNA exosome, a virus cannot grow, so the agreement between the virus and host is that it is ok for the virus to use some of the host RNA because the host has other ways to suppress the virus that is replicated," says the study's lead author, Alex Rialdi, MPH, a graduate assistant in Dr. Marazzi's laboratory. Co-authors include investigators from the University of California-San Francisco, Columbia University, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Regeneron Genetics Center, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, and the University of California-Los Angeles. The study was supported by NIH grants 2RO1AI099195 and DP2 2OD008651 (U.B.), and partially supported by HHSN272201400008C - Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis (CRIP) a NIAID-funded Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (A.G.S, H.v.B., R.A., and I.M.). Other support includes the Department of Defense W911NF-14-1-0353 (to I.M.) NIH grant 1R56AI114770-01A1 (to I. M.), NIH grant 1R01AN3663134 (I.M. and H.v.B), and NIH grant U19AI106754 FLUOMICS (I.M., R.A., S.C., N.K., A.G.S.). The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services -- from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care. The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals." For more information, visit http://www. , or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


News Article | May 6, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Felice A. Caldarella, MD, FACP, CDE, FACE, was elected secretary of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) at its 26th Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress in Austin, Texas today. “For me, the most important mission for AACE is to act as the Voice of Clinical Endocrinology®,” said Dr. Caldarella. “With this as the mission of AACE, the tough decisions faced as an association leader become easier. AACE must always do what it takes to meet the needs of its members – because it’s the members that make the organization.” As secretary, Dr. Caldarella will serve on the Association’s executive committee and board of directors. He will also serve on committees and task forces as appointed by the AACE president. Dr. Caldarella is a practicing endocrinologist at the Center for Endocrine Health in Clinton, New Jersey. He received his medical degree from State University of New York–Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, and completed his internal medicine internship and residency at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He completed his endocrinology fellowship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Caldarella joined AACE in 2001, and has served as member, chair or co-chair of numerous committees and task forces, including the Annual Meeting Program Committee, chair of the Task Force on Implications of MACRA Law for AACE Members, the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) Finance and EmPower Committees and many others. About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 7,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. Visit our site at www.aace.com. About the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is the educational and scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). ACE is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of endocrine and metabolic disorders by: providing professional education and reliable public health information; recognizing excellence in education, research and service; promoting clinical research and defining the future of Clinical Endocrinology. For more information, please visit www.aace.com/college.


AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dyslipidemia management experts speaking today at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists’ 26th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress highlighted the patient benefits of recently introduced clinical guidelines, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology Guidelines for Management of Dyslipidemia and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, which recommend more intense treatment and intervention. Using case-based evidence in their “Meet the Experts” workshop, presenters Dr. Paul Jellinger and Dr. Yehuda Handelsman underscored the application of more aggressive treatment for reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in patients with progressive ASCVD who have achieved an LDL under 70; those with established ASCVD and diabetes, stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease, or heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia; and those with a history of premature cardiovascular disease, all of whom are categorized in a newly introduced cardiovascular “extreme risk” category. Treatment goals for patients in the extreme risk category include LDL cholesterol <55mg/dL, non-HDL cholesterol <80mg/dL, and ApoB <70mg/dL. Their presentation also highlighted the value of coronary artery calcium (CAC) score and inflammatory markers to stratify risk. The groundbreaking guidelines further provide an assessment of the value of adding ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors in patients with cardiovascular disease who are unable to reach LDL cholesterol goals with statin therapy; screening for cardiovascular risk in female patients using the Reynolds Risk Score or the Framingham Risk Assessment Tool; and special guidance for the diagnosis and management of dyslipidemia in children and adolescents as early as possible to decrease the long-term risk of adult cardiovascular events (See Risk Stratification Chart below). “While suggestive evidence pointed in the direction of better outcomes with more aggressive LDL treatment, the IMPROVE-IT trial was the first prospective demonstrated clearly that driving LDL down to 53 provided a clear, significant benefit in reducing cardiovascular outcomes in high-risk groups,” noted Dr. Jellinger.“By expanding the group of patients studied in IMPROVE-IT to other very high-risk situations, our knowledge base expanded considerably, leading to the creation of the new risk category, a broader range of disease stages, and the accompanying groundbreaking treatment and intervention recommendations.” (See chart below). About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 7,000 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. A majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. Visit our site at www.aace.com. About the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is the educational and scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). ACE is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of endocrine and metabolic disorders by: providing professional education and reliable public health information; recognizing excellence in education, research and service; promoting clinical research and defining the future of Clinical Endocrinology. For more information, please visit www.aace.com/college.


News Article | May 6, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jonathan D. Leffert, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, was elected President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) at its 26th Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 6. Dr. Leffert joined AACE in 1993, and after serving two consecutive terms on the Board of Directors, he was elected to the Executive Committee as Secretary in 2013. He has chaired many of the Association’s major committees, with a particular interest in the Legislative and Regulatory Committee. In 2016, Dr. Leffert served as Program Chair for the 25th Annual AACE Scientific & Clinical Congress in Orlando, Fla. As President of AACE, he will lead the world’s largest clinical endocrinology association with more than 7,500 members from more than 90 countries. “I am honored to serve as President of AACE, an organization recognized as a leader in clinical care, education and practice management in the field of endocrinology,” said Dr. Leffert. “I look forward to this opportunity to contribute to AACE’s continued growth and in promoting the interests of our patients and physicians in today’s sometimes volatile health care environment.” Dr. Leffert received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital and the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He was subsequently awarded the AHA Bugher Fellowship in Molecular Biology to begin his research fellowship. In 1989, Dr. Leffert received a NIH Physician-Scientist Award for his work in cloning the rat amylin cDNa, and completed a clinical fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at UT Southwestern in 1991. In private practice for 26 years, Dr. Leffert is the managing partner of North Texas Endocrine Center. He serves as the AACE Delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, and is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Subspecialty Board of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Board certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Dr. Leffert is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), Fellow of the American College of Endocrinology (FACE) and has received Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU). About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 7,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. www.aace.com About the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is the educational and scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). ACE is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of endocrine and metabolic disorders by: providing professional education and reliable public health information; recognizing excellence in education, research and service; promoting clinical research and defining the future of Clinical Endocrinology. www.aace.com/college.


AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A trio of experts speaking today at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 26th Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress shared their in-depth knowledge about adrenal conditions that are relatively uncommon compared to other endocrine system disorders and also can be among the most challenging to identify and treat. The presentation, “Innovations in Evaluation and Management of Adrenal Diseases,” highlighted Cushing’s syndrome, an excess of the hormone cortisol in the blood usually caused by a tumor; adrenocorticol carcinoma, a rare and deadly disease in which malignant cells form in the outer layer of the adrenal gland; and adrenal function in critically ill patients. Dr. Lynette Nieman, an active clinical investigator and Chief of the Endocrinology Consultation Service at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, has seen more than 1,000 patients with Cushing’s syndrome at the NIH. Cushing’s is a debilitating endocrine disorder characterized by excessive cortisol levels in the blood. She underscored the challenges not only in diagnosing Cushing’s syndrome – which can include potential drug and hormone interference, and false negatives or positives in testing and imaging studies – but also the importance of an individualized patient treatment plan to address the long-term effects and comorbidities associated with hypercortisolism. In discussing the distinction between relatively common benign tumors of the adrenal cortex and adrenocorticol carcinoma (ACC), an ultra-rare endocrine malignancy that forms in the outer layer of the adrenal gland and has usually metastasized to other parts of the body by the time it is diagnosed, world-renowned adrenal cancer specialist Dr. Gary Hammer noted that most doctors – including endocrinologists – have never seen a case of adrenocortical carcinoma. As such, the challenge is needing to know when to be concerned, particularly since the signs and symptoms induced by a tumor’s effect on adrenal production of key hormones – high blood pressure, weight gain and diabetes – are among the most common symptoms in Western society. As Director of the Endocrine Oncology Program at the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Hammer and his colleagues are collaborating with clinicians, researchers and institutions around the world to unravel the genetics of the disease with the goal of creating therapies that target the molecular defects of ACC. Dr. Amir H. Hamrahian, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Department of Endocrinology at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, highlighted the complex condition of adrenal insufficiency (AI) in critically ill patients. Noting the limitations of currently available diagnostic tools as well as the lack of consensus on what constitutes normal adrenal function in critically ill patients, he nonetheless recommended the use of random cortisol and free cortisol levels as the primary evaluation tool with these patients. Presenters from “Innovations in Evaluation and Management of Adrenal Diseases,” will discuss details of their presentations in a press briefing on Friday, May 5, at 12:15 p.m. at the AACE 26th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress. About the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 7,000 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. A majority of AACE members are certified in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. Visit our site at www.aace.com. About the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) The American College of Endocrinology (ACE) is the educational and scientific arm of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). ACE is the leader in advancing the care and prevention of endocrine and metabolic disorders by: providing professional education and reliable public health information; recognizing excellence in education, research and service; promoting clinical research and defining the future of Clinical Endocrinology. For more information, please visit www.aace.com/college.


Shari M. Ling, MD has been selected to receive the first-ever Public Service Award from NKF, established to honor those who have dedicated their careers to public service and who have helped to shape public policies or government programs that improve outcomes for kidney patients.  Dr. Ling currently serves as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Medical Officer in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ).  In her role at CMS, she assists the CMS Chief Medical Officer in the agency's pursuit of better health care, healthier populations and smarter spending. Dr. Ling's committed focus is on the achievement of meaningful health outcomes for patients and families through the delivery of high quality, person-centered care, across all care settings. Her clinical focus and scientific interest is in the care of persons with dementia, multiple chronic conditions and functional limitations. Derek Forfang, a kidney patient and long-time kidney disease advocate, has been selected to receive the first-ever Celeste Castillo Lee Patient Engagement Award, established in honor of Celeste Castillo Lee, a longtime advocate for patient-centered care and empowerment. It is the highest honor given by NKF to a distinguished kidney patient who exemplifies NKF's mission and Celeste's legacy of putting patients at the center of all aspects of healthcare through their involvement with NKF and community partners.  Mr. Forfang, of San Pablo, California, has been an end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patient since 1999.  He received a kidney transplant and has also been on peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis.  A regional leader of NKF's Kidney Advocacy Committee and a member of the Public Policy Committee, Derek has worked tirelessly to protect and improve care for the kidney community. Merck been selected to receive the 2017 Corporate Innovator Award which recognizes industry partners that advance the field of nephrology by addressing an unmet medical need, or improving upon an existing practice, therapeutic or technology.  Merck's innovative new treatment for hepatitis C, ZEPATIER, is the only direct anti-viral agent specifically tested and approved for use in patients with chronic kidney disease stages four and five. Paul Palevsky, MD has been selected to receive the Dr. J. Michael Lazarus Distinguished Award established to honor Dr. Lazarus for his major contributions to the clinical science and care of dialysis patients, and to recognize individuals whose research has yielded novel insights related to renal replacement therapy.  Dr. Palevsky is Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science in the Renal-Electrolyte Division at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and serves as Chief of the Renal Section at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.  Dr. Palevsky's research has primarily focused on acute kidney injury and critical care nephrology. He will be presenting the Lazarus lecture on "We Don't Have to Fail at Acute Renal Failure: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Quality Improvement" on Friday, April 21st at 8:45 a.m. at the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings. Susanne Nicholas, MD, MPH, PhD has been selected to receive the Medical Advisory Board Distinguished Service Award established to recognize an individual for their educational activities and community service in promoting the mission of NKF on a local level.  Dr. Nicholas is a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA in the Division of Nephrology where she maintains her clinical responsibilities, and the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, where she conducts research.  She is also a Clinical Hypertension Specialist.   Dr. Nicholas' research interests include understanding and identifying key factors that promote the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease (DKD); uncovering and validating novel biomarkers that may predict DKD progression; and quantifying renal structural changes associated with DKD in response to novel therapeutics, using stereology principles. Her research over the past 15 years has led to the identification of a novel biomarker of DKD, which is currently being validated in clinical studies. Katherine R. Tuttle, MD, FASN, FACP, FNKF, has been selected to receive the prestigious Garabed Eknoyan Award, created to recognize an individual who has promoted the mission of NKF in Making Lives Better for people with kidney disease through the exceptional contributions to key initiatives of NKF such as the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) or clinical research in the field of kidney disease.  Dr. Tuttle is the Executive Director for Research at Providence Health Care in Spokane, and serves as Co-Principal Investigator of the Institute of Translational Health Sciences, Investigator at Kidney Research Institute, and Clinical Professor of Medicine for the University of Washington.  Dr. Tuttle's major research interests include diabetic kidney disease, hypertension, renal vascular disease, nutrition in chronic kidney disease, and transitional care.  She has chaired numerous workgroups focused on diabetes and kidney disease including NKF's KDOQI Workgroup for Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease. Jonathan Himmelfarb, MD has been selected to receive the Donald W. Seldin Award, established to recognize excellence in clinical nephrology in the tradition of one of the foremost teachers and researchers in the field, Dr. Donald W. Seldin.  Dr. Himmelfarb is a Professor of Medicine, Director of the Kidney Research Institute, and holds the Joseph W. Eschbach, M.D. Endowed Chair in Kidney Research at the University of Washington School of Medicine.   He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, has served on numerous grant review committees and scientific advisory boards and has held leadership positions in many national and international nephrology societies.  Dr. Himmelfarb has served on expert panels for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Veterans Health Administration, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He is also a nephrologist who cares for patients with kidney disease, and an internationally recognized educator about kidney disease. Raymond R. Townsend, MD has been selected to receive the Shaul G. Massry Distinguished Lecture Award, established to honor Dr. Massry for his scientific achievements and contribution to the kidney health care community and to NKF.  Dr. Townsend is Professor of Medicine and an Associate Director of the Center for Human Phenomic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently a Principal Investigator evaluating the role of demographic, phenotypic, humoral and genetic factors in the progression of kidney disease and the development and progression of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.  He was also the Principal Investigator of a multicenter effort evaluating the specific role of pulse wave velocity in the renal and cardiovascular consequences of chronic kidney disease.   Dr. Townsend led the work group that wrote the KDOQI Commentary on the 2012 KDIGO Guideline on this subject, and most recently co-chaired the NKF workshop on Potassium Homeostasis in Disease and Health, the report on which will soon be published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease and Journal of the American Society of Hypertension. Tilakavati Karupaiah, PhD, APD, AN has been selected to receive the Joel D. Kopple Award, an annual award honoring an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of renal nutrition.  Dr. Karupaiah is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian with Dietitian's Association of Australia, a Professor and Head of the Dietetics Program at the National University of Malaysia; and also Adjunct Associate Professor at Wayne State University, Detroit.    Dr. Karupaiah's involvement in renal nutrition began because of a lack of dietitians in this field in Malaysia, and dialysis patients needed patient-friendly information about local diets. At the National University of Malaysia, she encouraged early exposure of dietetic students to renal patient care through community engagement, outpatient counseling and practical skills on patient diet planning. Dr. Karupaiah is now targeting capacity building mentorship for developing renal dietitians in Malaysia through nutrition research. For the past 26 years, nephrology healthcare professionals from across the country have come to NKF's Spring Clinical Meetings to learn about the newest developments related to all aspects of nephrology practice, network with colleagues, and present their research findings. The NKF Spring Clinical Meetings are designed for meaningful change in the multidisciplinary healthcare teams' skills, performance, and patient health outcomes.  It is the only conference of its kind that focuses on translating science into practice for the entire healthcare team. 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease.  26 million American adults have kidney disease—and most aren't aware of it.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and age 60+.  People of African American; Hispanic; Native American; Asian; or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 ½ times more likely, and Hispanics 1 ½ times more likely, to experience kidney failure. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease.  For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org. :  Full press releases on each award recipient, including quotes for attribution, are hyperlinked by recipient's name and can also be found in the Newsroom at www.kidney.org. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-kidney-foundation-honors-leading-researchers-clinicians-patient-advocates-and-more-at-its-26th-annual-spring-clinical-meetings-300442333.html

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