Jonathan Himmelfarb, MD, FASN, has been elected as the President of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN).
The election took place at the society''s annual meeting, ASN Kidney Week 2014, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Himmelfarb succeeds Past President Sharon M. Moe, MD, FASN.
Dr. Himmelfarb is the Joseph W. Eschbach, MD, Endowed Chair in Kidney Research, Director of the Kidney Research Institute, and Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research focuses on metabolic complications of kidney disease, particularly on how the loss of kidney function contributes to increased oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction, and ultimately cardiovascular risk for patients with kidney disease. Dr. Himmelfarb is also involved with health care disparities research related to chronic kidney disease, evaluation of novel approaches to renal replacement therapies, and development of a human "kidney on a chip" for evaluation of kidney drug clearance and toxicity.
"The coming year will present many exciting opportunities and challenges for nephrology, and I anticipate that ASN will play a central role," said Dr. Himmelfarb. An evolving practice environment, a need for innovative cures for kidney disease, strengthening the future pipeline of nephrologists, as well as improving diversity at ASN are among the many issues Dr. Himmelfarb anticipates the society will address over the next 12 months.
Dr. Himmelfarb has a history of close involvement with ASN. He was the Founding Chair of the ASN Public Policy Board (2006-2009) and was central to developing a stronger voice for ASN in the public health arena. He has also served on the ASN Dialysis Advisory Group, Program Committee, Postgraduate Education Committee, and Board of Advisors. He has also served as an Associate Editor of JASN, and on the editorial boards of JASN and CJASN.
His extensive experience working with other organizations central to kidney care will help ASN maintain and build the external relationships that advance the field of nephrology. "Collaboration is essential to help further ASN''s mission and goals, given the high prevalence and complexity of kidney disease, which touches so many individuals and organizations," said Dr. Himmelfarb.
Dr. Himmelfarb notes ASN will continue to support its members and their patients. This focus includes emphasizing the value of nephrology care to patients and health care systems in a rapidly changing environment of increasingly integrated care models, and continuing to develop innovative products that meet members'' needs, including new self-assessment products for maintenance of certification and tools to help ASN members at each stage of their careers.
Dr.Himmelfarb also sees a role for ASN to continue to bolster kidney research in the current funding environment. "I see the coming era as providing the opportunity for true breakthroughs that can substantively change outcomes for people living with kidney disease," said Dr. Himmelfarb. "Yet, at the same time, we are experiencing funding challenges that threaten to stall or even prevent progress."
"Most of all, I am excited that ASN has begun a journey to become a more diverse, open, and inclusive organization at all levels, including (but certainly not limited to) gender, racial, and ethnic diversity," said Dr. Himmelfarb. "This is especially critical given the patient population we serve. We need for our entire community to feel valued and capable of participating in ASN''s mission, which will make ASN a stronger and better organization."
ASN Kidney Week 2014, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for more than 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in kidney health research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. ASN Kidney Week 2014 will take place November 11-16, 2014, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. Founded in 1966, and with more than 15,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.
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