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Harris to lead American Society of Nephrology

Nov. 12, 2015, 8:58 AM

Ray Harris, M.D., has been elected president of the American Society of Nephrology during the society’s annual meeting, ASN Kidney Week 2015, in San Diego.

Ray Harris, M.D.

Harris is the Ann and Roscoe R. Robinson Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Kidney Disease.

He is a physician-scientist and leader in understanding the role of COX-2 and prostaglandins in the kidney and in determining mechanisms of growth and repair in response to acute and chronic injury.

Harris has been elected to both the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians.

“Next year will be a pivotal year for ASN and nephrology as the society celebrates its 50th anniversary,” said Harris. “This milestone is a time for ASN and its nearly 16,000 members to celebrate and draw inspiration from the advances made in kidney health over the past half century as we look forward to overcoming obstacles and developing new innovations to cure kidney diseases and improve our patients’ lives.”

Among the key issues Harris identifies for the year ahead are asserting ASN’s leadership role representing nephrologists in the licensure, certification and related arenas to ensure maintenance of certification activities leads to improved care for kidney patients. This year will also focus on ASN’s new strategic plan — ASN 2020 — that will prioritize the society’s activities and bring it to the next level by the next decade.

“ASN 2020 will ensure the society continues to lead the fight to prevent, treat and cure kidney diseases throughout the world,” Harris said.

Harris’ history of close involvement with ASN has focused on education and research. Most recently he chaired the ASN Nephrology Match Task Force, convened after the recent decline in physicians choosing nephrology careers. He has served on the ASN Program Committee (2007–2009), ASN Education Committee (2008–2009), and as both an associate editor and deputy editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (2004–2010).

“The recent decline in interest in nephrology careers has overshadowed the exciting advances being made in kidney health,” said Harris. “New understandings of disease processes and kidney physiology have made possible new methods to improve the lives of the more than 20 million Americans and millions more worldwide burdened by kidney diseases.”

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