David Nikolic-Paterson is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and is Head of Laboratory Research in the Department of Nephrology at Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne, and a Group Leader in the Monash University Centre for Inflammatory Diseases. His group investigates mechanisms of inflammation and fibrosis in acute and chronic kidney disease, including transplant rejection. A particular focus is the contribution of myeloid cells and the TGF-β/Smad and stress-activated protein kinase signalling pathways. This work has resulted in a several clinical trials in diabetic kidney disease and other fibrotic diseases. Dr Nikolic-Paterson is also serves an Associate Editor or Editorial Board member for several of the top journals in Nephrology and Pathology.
Professor El-Omar graduated in Medicine from Glasgow University, Scotland, and trained as a gastroenterologist. He worked as a Visiting Scholar/Scientist at Vanderbilt University, TN, and National Cancer Institute, MD, USA, and was Professor of Gastroenterology at Aberdeen University, Scotland, for 16 years before taking up the Chair of Medicine at St George & Sutherland Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He is the Editor in Chief of the journal Gut. His research interests include the gut microbiome, inflammation driven GI cancer and IBD. He is the Director of the Microbiome Research Centre at St George Hospital, Sydney.
Prof Forbes completed her PhD in Paediatric Nephrology in 2000 at the University of Melbourne and Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. She then continued her training as a post-doctoral fellow in diabetes and kidney disease at both Austin Health and Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Currently she is a Professorial Research Fellow at Mater Research Institute-UQ in Brisbane, Australia where she also leads the Chronic Disease Biology and Care Program. She holds/has received research grants from NH&MRC of Australia, Kidney Health Australia, NIH/NIDDK and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). She is board member of the Australian Diabetes Society, the outgoing co-chair of the Diabetes Australia Research Program and an elected fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Science.
Her work to date has resulted in more than 150 publications in highly ranked journals which have been cited > 9000 times. Her primary research focuses on the pathological mechanisms that contribute to diabetes and its complications including advanced glycation and mitochondrial energy production. This is with a view to designing and translating therapies to combat these diseases. She has received numerous awards for her research including the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Medical Research in Australia and the TJ Neale Award from ANZSN.
Associate Professor Glenda Gobe is a molecular biologist with a well-established international reputation in kidney disease research. She is a molecular biologist and pathologist who has published on research into renal atrophy and regeneration, fibrosis, inflammation, and kidney cancer. She has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and many highly-cited articles. Dr Gobe is Co-Director of the Centre for Kidney Disease Research at the Faculty of Medicine University of Queensland and the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane. She is Curator of the NHMRC CKD.QLD Centre for Research Excellence Biobank and the Kidney Cancer Biobank, both at the Translational Research Institute. Dr Gobe teaches MD and biomedical science students and supervises Research Higher Degree students with the UQ School of Biomedical Sciences.
Prof. John W M Agar, MBBS, FRACP, FRCP (Lond), OAM
- Clinical Nephrologist (1978 … ongoing ), University Hospital Geelong, Barwon Health, Geelong
- Conjoint Professor of Medicine at Deakin University School of Medicine and Barwon Health, Geelong
Graduated: MBBS (Monash University – 1970).
Director: Renal Unit, Geelong Hospital, Barwon Health (1978 – 2011)
Established first home nocturnal HD program in Australia (2001, Geelong, Australia)
Established first known water conservation practices in HD (2004)
Established first known solar-assisted HD program (2010)
Current research interest: dialysis plastic waste as an incorporative into concrete
Coined the term ‘Green’ or ‘Eco-dialysis’
Published >230 peer reviewed papers and abstracts
Medical Advisor to Home Dialysis Central (US): http://www.homedialysiscentral.org
- Order of Australia Medal for Services to Renal Medicine (2009)
- ANZSN Life Membership of the ANZSN (2011)
- RACP Life Membership (2015)
- Priscilla Kincaid Smith Medal for outstanding contribution to Australian Nephrology (2015)
Philip Beales is Professor of Medical and Medical Genetics at UCL in London, UK and an NIHR Senior Investigator. He is chair of the new UCL Institute for Precision Medicine and Director of the Centre for Translational Genomics (GOSGENE). Beales is best known for his clinical and genetic research (20 years) into rare diseases especially, the ciliopathies, leading research culminating in novel gene discoveries for Bardet-Biedl syndrome, Jeune Asphyxiating Thoracic Dystrophy, Cranioectodermal dysplasia, Acrocallosal Syndrome and several other disorders. He was the first to attribute the Bardet-Biedl syndrome phenotype to dysfunctional primary cilia. Beales’ group continues to pursue research in translational science and therapeutics for ciliopathies including gene therapy.
He is practices clinical genetics at both Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Guys Hospital, London and is national lead for the NHS England specialist commissioned Bardet-Biedl syndrome clinical and diagnostic service.
He is also founding Co-editor in Chief of BMC CILIA and sits on several journal editorial boards. He was elected fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011.
John Knight is a part time professorial fellow in the renal and metabolic division of The George Institute for Global Health, where his academic research explores the clinical and economic outcomes of dialysis in resource constrained environments. He is also the Medical Director of Ellen Medical Devices, a company formed by the George Institute to commercialise the winning entry in the Affordable Dialysis Prize. He trained in paediatric nephrology at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children and Guy’s Hospital, London, and served for a time as the Medical Director of the Australian Kidney Foundation (now Kidney Health Australia).
Minnie Sarwal is Professor of Surgery, with joint appointments in Medicine and Pediatrics, Director of Precision Transplant Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and additional positions as Adjunct Professor, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, and Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Odense, Sweeden. Dr. Sarwal was previously the Medical Director, Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program at Stanford and was on Faculty at Stanford University for 16 yrs. Dr. Sarwal is also a Faculty for the Masters in Translational Medicine Program (Berkeley/UCSF), serves on the Science Board of the FDA. She received her MD jointly from Calcutta Medical College, India and Guy’s Hospital, London, UK, before completing a doctorate in Molecular Genetics at Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK with Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner.
Dr. Sarwal serves on NIH study sections as a regular and an ad hoc reviewer and is a member of several national and international academic societies and has served for many organizations in leadership capacities, such as the American Society of Transplant Physicians, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the Transplantation Society , the International Pediatric Transplant Association, the American Society of Nephrology, the Cystinosis Foundation, FOCIS and the National Kidney Foundation.
Dr. Sarwal’s clinical interests focus on personalizing transplant immunosuppression, monitoring and management of metabolic renal diseases such as cystinosis and oxalosis, and proteinuric renal diseases such as Diabetic kidney disease, IgA and FSGS. Dr. Sarwal’s research is centered on computational and translational science in renal diseases, on the immunobiology and computationally driven monitoring for organ transplantation and rational immunosuppression trial design; she has presented and chaired at numerous invited scientific seminars and visiting professorship and founded the Transplantomics meeting for the TTS. Her career has been marked by over 200 peer reviewed publications and awards and distinctions. She teaches entrepreneurship classes at UCSF and spun out a diagnostic company from Stanford University, which she led as a CEO to successful exit in 2014, commercializing a blood based diagnostic kSORT for early detection of kidney transplant rejection.
Dr. Yeoungjee Cho is a consultant nephrologist from Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Australia. She is also clinical trialist and a chairof the peritoneal dialysis working group of the Australasian Kidney Trials Network. Her research focus is in clinical trials, meta-analyses and epidemiology, registry analyses, particularly in peritoneal dialysis and PD solutions. She is a recipient of the National Health and Medical Research Council early career fellowship.
Anna Greka, an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, is a physician-scientist leading the translation of scientific discoveries from the laboratory to clinical trials. She is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS); an associate physician in the Renal Division in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH); and the founding director of Glom-NExT, a Center for Glomerular Kidney Disease and Novel Experimental Therapeutics at BWH and HMS.
The Greka laboratory specializes in the development of personalized and targeted therapies for difficult-to-treat diseases affecting millions of people across the world. Her team focuses on a detailed, mechanistic understanding of the signaling pathways regulating important cellular functions in health and disease. Specifically, her lab studies mechanisms of cell survival and metabolic regulation, with an emphasis on calcium signaling and transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel biology. Applying this expertise to the study of kidney podocytes, the laboratory recently identified a TRPC5 channel blocker as the first ion channel targeted therapy for kidney disease. National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins recognized this work on the 10-year anniversary of the NIH Common Fund.
Her laboratory also directs its efforts toward understanding the mechanisms linking calcium signaling to disrupted cellular metabolism, with important connections to obesity and diabetes. In parallel, her recent first-in-human use of B7-1 (CD80) targeted therapy for patients with severe kidney disease, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has been hailed as ushering in a “new era of podocyte-targeted therapy for proteinuric kidney disease.” The discovery resulted in her leadership of the first clinical trial in that area.
Greka has been the recipient of several honors, including a 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a 2014 Top 10 Exceptional Research Award from the Clinical Research Council and a 2014 Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society of Clinical Investigation Council. She also serves on the Harvard-MIT M.D.-Ph.D. Program Leadership Council.
Greka holds an A.B. in biology from Harvard College and an M.D. and Ph.D. in neurobiology from HMS. She received her medical and scientific training in the Harvard-MIT program in Health Sciences and Technology in the laboratory of National Academy of Sciences member David Clapham, where she explored the role of TRP channels in neuronal growth cone motility.