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Highlights from the SSCI Nephrology Young Investigators' Forum

The 17th Annual Southeastern Regional Nephrology Young Investigators' Forum (NYIF), sponsored by the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (SSCI) with generous support from an educational grant from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, was held February 21, 2018, in New Orleans, LA. The NYIF served as a pre-course to the Annual Southern Regional/Southern Society for Clinical Investigation Meetings, which occurred February 22-24, 2018.

Postdoctoral fellow trainees in nephrology programs throughout the Southeast were invited to present their research at the NYIF, which continued in the pattern of previous meetings with all of the presentations representing superior quality research. This year, twenty fellows representing twelve academic medical centers in seven states were selected to participate. In addition to the nephrology fellow presenters and the panel of five judges, there were a number of mentors present for the meeting. The research presentations were divided into basic and clinical research categories with the morning devoted to clinical research presentations and the afternoon program dedicated to basic science talks. All those present contributed to a lively and constructive question-and-answer session following each of the presentations.

The event was initiated with a particularly excellent and relevant lecture entitled "Transitioning from Fellow to Faculty: The Junior Faculty Perspective" by Jeanie Park, MD, MS, who is presently an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Renal Division at Emory University. Dr. Park's research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and by several foundation awards. She combined discussion of not only her ongoing research efforts but also ways in which to manage the challenges of creating work-life balance. Her presentation was very informative and received outstanding reviews from attendees.

Subsequent presenters all performed at a very high level, and their knowledge of their area of research and the background literature was impressive. Similarly, their ability to address wide-ranging and probing questions from the audience was equally impressive. This year’s program, as with past programs, continued to reflect the superior investigative talent in nephrology training programs in the Southeast.

This year, awards were presented to the four top-rated presentations in each of the Clinical Science and Basic Science categories. An alternate was also selected in each category. The winners advanced to the National Nephrology Young Investigators Forum that will be held in conjunction with the 2018 Spring National Kidney Foundation Clinical Meeting. This year’s award winners are:

Awards

Clinical Science Research Awards

  • 1st - Devika Nair, MD - Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • 2nd - Ida T. Fonkoue, MD, PhD - Emory University
  • 3rd - Crystal Farrington, DO - University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • 4th - Daniel Edmonston, MD - Duke University
  • Alt. - Jared Cook, MD - University of Alabama at Birmingham

Basic Science Research Awards

  • 1st - Silvia Ferre, PhD - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • 2nd - Jin Wei, PhD - University of South Florida
  • 3rd - Lauren Douma, PhD - University of Florida
  • 4th - Shinji Tanaka, MD, PhD - University of Virginia
  • Alt. - Anju Sreelatha, PhD - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

The SSCI fellows who participated in the National Young Investigators Forum did very well. In the Clinical Research Division, Dr. Devika Nair received the second place award for her presentation entitled Coping is Associated with Patient-Centered Outcomes in End-Stage Kidney Disease, and Dr. Ida Fonkoue received the third place award for her presentation entitled Impaired Arterial Baroreflex Sensitivity in Prehypertension. In the Basic Science Division, Dr. Shinji Tanaka received the second place award for his presentation entitled Optogenetic Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve Controls Inflammation and AKI, and Dr. Silvia Ferre received the third place award for her presentation entitled Role of Renal Tubular Cell Spliced X-Box Binding Protein-1 in Acute Kidney Injury and Inflammation Transcriptomics of the Kidney.

The value of the NYIF for the trainees is extraordinary. This unique setting provides a forum where fellows can present original research orally to a small group of peers. This setting provides a novel, non-threatening environment for presentation and discussion for fellows and among fellows from different training programs in the region. There are no other meeting venues or environments that allow this high level of oral presentation and personal interaction for this level of training. Between and after sessions, trainees are afforded the extraordinary opportunity to interact personally with their peer group of researcher-trainees from the region and nationally if selected to advance to the national meeting. They also interact with a panel of judges who comprise a group of senior nephrologists and program leaders in the Southeast. They have the opportunity to network with other trainees in the region and nationally. It should also be noted that a number of trainee presenters at earlier NYIF programs have graduated to become our new young academic faculty for a number of nephrology programs in the Southeast and elsewhere.

Participants uniformly commented that this type of forum is strongly needed by the community and offered a great opportunity for networking. Many of the trainees spontaneously remarked that the meeting was a resounding success and an outstanding event for fellow participation. All recommended participation in this forum for future nephrology fellows.

The presenters and title of their presentations follows:

Presentations

Welcome & Opening Remarks - Paul W. Sanders, MD
Thomas E. Andreoli Endowed Chair in Nephrology
Director, Nephrology Research & Training Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Keynote Address
Transitioning from Fellow to Faculty: The Junior Faculty Perspective
Jeanie Park, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Renal Division, Emory University

Clinical Science Presentations

CR-01 - Jared Cook, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 and Risk of Sepsis in Community-Dwelling Adults

CR-02 - Daniel Edmonston, MD, Duke University
Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 and Clinical Risk Prediction in Chronic Kidney Disease

CR-03 - Crystal Farrington, DO, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Utility of Post-Operative Ultrasound for Predicting Unassisted Maturation and Subsequent Intervention-Free Survival of Arteriovenous Fistulas

CR-04 - Ida T. Fonkoue, MD, PhD, Emory University
Ida T. Fonkoue, MD, PhD, Emory UniversityImpaired Arterial Baroreflex Sensitivity in Prehypertension

CR-05 - Jeet Gandhi, MD, University of Texas Health Sciences Center-San Antonio
Effect Modification of Sodium Intake of Renoprotective Effect of Silybin and N-acetylcysteine in Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy

CR-06 - Vineet Jassal, MD, University of Virginia
Review of Bloodstream Infections in Out-Patient Dialysis Unit

CR-07 - Devika Nair, MD, Vanderbilt University
Coping and Self-Management Behaviors in End-Stage Renal Disease

CR-08 - Muhammad Saleem, MD, Augusta University
Utility of Lung Ultrasound B-Lines in Volume Assessment of End Stage Renal Disease Patients on Hemodialysis

CR-09 - Saad Shariff, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Outcomes of Using Peritoneal Dialysis Catheters for Urgent-Start Peritoneal Dialysis

Basic Science Presentations

BS-01 - Lauren Douma, PhD, University of Florida
Renal Mechanism for Regulation of Blood Pressure by the Circadian Clock Protein Peri

BS-02 - Silvia Ferre, MSc, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Role of Renal Tubular Cell Spliced X-Box Binding Protein-1 in Acute Kidney Injury and Inflammation

BS-03 - Marika Manolopoulou, MD, Vanderbilt University
TGF-Beta Signaling in Proximal Tubules Affects Chronic Injury Response Through Cell Cycle Changes

BS-04 - Riyaz Mohamed, MS, PhD, Augusta University
Female Spontaneous Hypertensive Rats (SHR) Have Better Recovery in Response to Renal Ischemia Reperfusion Injury Than Males

BS-05 - Fitra Rianto, MD, Emory University
Absence of Inner Medullary Urea Transporters Attenuates Fibrosis in Mice With Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction

BS-06 - Beatrice Richter, MSc, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Phosphate Contributes to the Cardiac Phenotype in Two Mouse Models with FGF23 Excess and Klotho Deficiency

BS-07 - Ashish Solanki, MSc, PhD, Medical University of South Carolina
Role for Exoc5 in Podocyte Development and Function

BS-08 - Anju Sreelatha, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Novel Atypical Protein Kinases

BS-09 - Shinji Tanaka, MD, PhD, University of Virginia
Optogenetic Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve Controls Inflammation in Sepsis and AKI

BS-10 - Jin Wei, PhD, University of South Florida
Blockade of Macula Densa Nosi Decreases GFR and Promotes the Development of Hypertension During Pregnancy

BS-11 - Santosh Yadav, MSc, PhD, Tulane University Health Sciences Center
CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Knockout of Sodium Dicarboxylate Cotransporter 1 in a Proximal Tubule Cell Line

BS-12 - Jie Zhang, PhD, University of South Florida
Prevention of Glomerular Hyperfiltration by Enhancement of Tubuloglomerular Feedback Response Induces Hypertension and Exacerbates Diabetic Kidney Injury

Highlights from Previous Years

Related Information

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The SSCI Thanks Its Sponsors

  • Elsevier sponsors The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation
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  • AstraZeneca sponsors The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation