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Editorial introductions

Editorial introductions

Editor(s): Brenner, Barry M.; Cooper, Mark; Weir, Matthew R.; Thomas, Merlin; Blantz, Roland C.

Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension: January 2016 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p v-vi
doi: 10.1097/MNH.0000000000000193
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Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension was launched in 1992. It is part of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of nephrology and hypertension is divided into 12 sections that are each reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Editor and the Section Editors for this issue.


Barry M. Brenner

Barry M. Brenner

Barry M. Brenner is Director Emeritus, of the Renal Division, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He earned a B.S. in biology at the Long Island University, USA, in 1958, and his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA in 1962. Dr Brenner completed his internship and residency at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA in 1966. He continued his career in research positions at the National Heart Institute, and the University of California, San Francisco, USA before arriving at Harvard in 1976. Dr Brenner has held various positions at the Brigham and Women's Hospital including: Director, Laboratory of Kidney and Electrolyte Physiology, Senior Physician and Director. Also, Director Emeritus, Renal Division. His basic and clinical research focuses on mechanisms of glomerular function in health and disease.

Dr Brenner is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (Councilor from 1980 to 1982, Vice-President from 1983 to 1984), the American Society of Nephrology (Councilor from 1980 to 1986, President from 1986 to 1987). Furthermore, a member of the the American Society of Hypertension (Organizing Committee from 1985 to 1987, Executive Committee from 1986 to 1995, President from 1994 to 1995), International Society of Nephrology (Councilor from 1987 to 1998, Co-Chairman, Commission for Global Advancement of Nephrology from 1994 to 1999), American Association of Physicians (Councilor, from 1995 to 1999); and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Chair, Section on Medical Sciences from 1995 to 1998).

Dr Brenner has received numerous awards and accolades, including his most recent honors: Best Doctors in America, Second Edition (1997); Fellow, Royal College of Physicians, London (1998); Jean Hamburger Award (1999) and Amgen Prize (2003), International Society of Nephrology; and the Homer Smith (1984) and John P. Peters (2000) Awards, American Society of Nephrology. Dr Brenner has held 25 editorial board appointments, has published more than 600 scientific articles and 45 books and has participated in over 300 lectures and/or professorships. He has since received honorary degrees from Harvard University (A.M., 1977), Long Island University (D.Sc.,1987), Université de Paris, France, Pierre et Marie Curie (D.Med. Sci., 1992), France, and Universidad Complutense de Madrid (M.D. 2002), Spain. Dr Brenner was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.


Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper

Dr Mark Cooper studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, Australia and then completed his physician training at the Austin Hospital as well as his PhD under Dr George Jerums and Professor Austin Doyle in the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, Austin Hospital. He then set up his own research laboratory, the JDRF Danielle Alberti Memorial Centre for Diabetes Complications, firstly at the Austin and Repatriation Hospital, and subsequently at the Baker Heart Research Institute, which he joined in 2002.

In mid-2004 he became the Deputy Director (2004–9) of the multinational Albert Einstein JDRF Center for the Study of Diabetes Complications, a consortium of investigators led by Professor M. Brownlee in New York, USA, and including the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is currently an Honorary Professor of Medicine and Immunology at Monash University, Australia. He also holds honorary appointment as Professor of Medicine at University of Melbourne.

Dr Cooper has over 400 peer-reviewed publications. His work has been recognised both locally and internationally. In 1999 Dr Cooper was awarded the Eric Susman prize from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians for his research in the field of renal and vascular complications of diabetes. In 2005 he was awarded the Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) Kellion Award for outstanding contribution to diabetes research in Australia.

In 2008, he was awarded a five-year scholars award by JDRF, one of only 2 awarded worldwide. His is the first non-North American to receive this highly prestigious award. In 2008, he was also recognised by the European Diabetic Nephropathy Study Group (EASD) as the Ruth Østerby lecturer. He is currently supported by the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia at its highest level, as an Australian Fellow.

Dr Cooper has successfully competed for a large number of peer reviewed grants over the last 15 years from a range of organizations including not only JDRF but also the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Foundation of Australia, Diabetes Australia and Kidney Health Australia.

Dr Cooper also contributes to a large number of national and international organizations. He is currently Chair of the Complications Committee of the International Scientific Committee of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (New York). He has served on clinical research committees for major international studies, including RENAAL, ADVANCE, TREAT and the DIRECT study.

Dr Cooper is on the editorial boards of many international journals including Diabetes, Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System, Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation and Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension.

Matthew R. Weir

Matthew R. Weir

Matthew R. Weir, MD, is attending physician and Director of the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland Hospital, Baltimore. He is also Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School Of Medicine.

Dr Weir's primary research interests include the use of antihypertensive therapy for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive renal injury in African Americans, and preventing allograft nephropathy in transplant recipients. He has written more than 550 manuscripts and book chapters about these topics. He has edited 6 books: on topics in nephrology, transplantation, and hypertension. He has presented at numerous international scientific association meetings, hospitals, and medical schools.

Dr Weir currently reviews manuscripts for more than 30 major medical journals, including the American Journal of Kidney Disease, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and Archives of Internal Medicine. He is on the editorial board of 18 journals and is Section Editor of Current Hypertension Reports and Current Opinion in Hypertension and Nephrology. He has 2 active NIH supported grants from NIDDK. In addition, he is a member of numerous associations, including the American Society of Nephrology, the National Kidney Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the American Society of Transplantation.

Dr Weir received his medical degree from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He completed his internship and residency programs in medicine at the Waterbury and Yale-New Haven Hospitals in Connecticut, and completed his nephrology training at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts. He then moved to the University of Maryland where he has been a full time faculty member since 1983.

Merlin Thomas

Merlin Thomas

Dr Merlin Thomas is a physician scientist at the JDRF/ Danielle Alberti Memorial Centre for the study of Diabetes Complications at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Here he heads the ‘Biochemistry of Diabetic complications’ laboratory. He also has academic appointment as a Professor, in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Australia.

Dr Thomas trained in medicine at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and qualified with distinction in 1992. His continuing postgraduate medical research in New Zealand was rewarded in 1998 when he was named Royal Australasian College of Physicians National “Young Investigator of the Year”, for work published in the Lancet on the effect of statin withdrawal. He subsequently completed specialist training in nephrology in Adelaide in 2000, working with a particular interest in the transplant outcomes of patients with diabetes.

In 2001 he was awarded a NH&MRC / Dora Lush Biomedical research scholarship to study for a PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia. At the completion of his PhD in 2004, he took up the FRACP/Don and Lorraine Jacquot fellowship, to continue his research into the biochemistry of AGEs in South Carolina, USA, a world-leading centre for the study of the Maillard reaction. Returning to Australia in 2005, he took up the RACP/Diabetes Australia Research Trust fellowship to continue his work of diabetic complications and set up his laboratory at the Baker Institute, Australia.

In 2006, he was the recipient of the Kidney Health Australia's Bootle Bequest, and the inaugural Diabetes Australia/NHMRC Joint Career Development Award, to further his work into diabetic kidney disease. Dr Thomas has established an exceptional track record of research including over a hundred and seventy publications in scientific journals. He has also written the bestselling book “Fast Living, Slow Ageing”, that deals with the every-day practical application of his research.

His work in the field of diabetic complications is internationally recognised, being invited to speak at international meetings including the American Society of Nephrology, World Congress of Diabetes, and the International Society of Nephrology, and the World Congress on Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications.

Roland C. Blantz

Roland C. Blantz

Dr Blantz received his Bachelors and MD degree from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. After completing internal medicine training and a stint in the Air Force, he was a clinical and research fellow in Nephrology and Metabolism at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Texas, USA. In 1972, following his fellowship training he joined the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, USA as a Professor of Medicine. Since 1988, Roland Blantz has been Head of the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension, representing Physiology on the Faculty of Basic Biomedical Sciences Council. He is a Member of the Bioengineering Institute at UCSD and has served as Chairman of the Faculty of the School of Medicine from 1981 to 1983. He served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Physiology: Renal, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and the American Clinical and Climatological Association. Dr Blantz is a past President and Councillor of the American Society of Nephrology, Past President of the Council of American Kidney Societies, and was Chair of the Chronic Kidney Disease Advisory Committee of ASN. He has served as Chairman of the External Advisory Committee of the NIH HEMO Trial on Morbidity and Mortality in Hemodialysis and is the recipient of multiple named lectureships and visiting professorships. In 2005, he received the Donald B. Seldin award from the NKF, the William S. Middleton award for Research Excellence from the Veterans Administration in 2006, and in 2010, the John P. Peters award of the American Society of Nephrology. He has served as Program Chairman for the National Kidney Foundation Annual Meeting (1996) and as a member of the NIH Pathology ‘A’ Study Section and is a Fellow of the ASN and AHA. He is currently a member of the Pathobiology of Kidney Disease study section of NIH. He was elected as a council member of the International Society of Nephrology in 2009. Dr Blantz has over 200 publications in scientific journals and is funded by grants through the NIH and the VA Research Service. Dr Blantz's areas of investigation include glomerular and tubular physiology in the kidney and small molecule chemistry focusing upon the:

  1. Feedback systems relating tubular reabsorption to glomerular function
  2. Pathophysiology of glomerular immune injury, acute kidney injury and the early stages of kidney function in diabetes
  3. Hormonal control of renal hemodynamics, glomerular filtration and tubular reabsorption
  4. Studies examining regulation of metabolism, hemodynamics and fibrosis/cell proliferation in experimental models of chronic kidney disease. Dr Blantz’ clinical activities focus upon inpatient consultation in nephrology and care of ICU patients.
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