August 31, 2007

Ikizler named to hold Hakim chair

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Ikizler named to hold Hakim chair

T. Alp Ikizler, M.D., associate professor of Medicine, has been named the Catherine McLaughlin Hakim Associate Professor of Medicine.

“Alp Ikizler is highly regarded for his work in nephrology, particularly in the field of advanced chronic kidney disease and acute renal failure,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “Because of his contributions to research and patient care, he is the ideal person to hold this chair that honors the memory of our dear friend, Cathy.”

The Catherine McLaughlin Hakim endowed chair honors the late Cathy Hakim, who died of metastatic breast cancer several years ago. She was married to Raymond Hakim, M.D., adjunct professor of Medicine, who was on the full-time faculty in the Division of Nephrology from 1987 to 1996.

“Dr. Ikizler is an outstanding physician scientist who is engaged in translational research related to end-stage renal disease and dialysis,” said Raymond Harris, M.D., director of the Division of Nephrology. “Given that Dr. Hakim was Dr. Ikizler's mentor during his training period, it is especially appropriate that he has been named the Catherine Hakim Associate Professor.”

Ikizler joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1996. He became medical director and CEO of the outpatient dialysis clinic in 1998. In 2003 he was named director of Clinical Research in Nephrology, and in 2006 he was named the director of the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program, one of the most prominent educational platforms for Clinical Translational Research at Vanderbilt.

Ikizler is primarily interested in the nutritional and metabolic aspects of kidney disease. He and his colleagues are engaged in studies that explore the factors that influence the nutritional and metabolic status of patients with acute and chronic kidney disease. Specifically, they investigate the effects of advanced renal failure (uremia) and different modalities of renal replacement therapy on protein and energy metabolism.

They are also interested in treatment strategies in kidney disease patients with overt signs of protein-calorie malnutrition and/or metabolic derangements such as inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance. These strategies include dietary manipulations, exercise programs and use of pharmacological interventions such as anabolic hormones. His research is supported by a number of federal and non-federal grants.

Ikizler earned his medical degree from Istanbul University School of Medicine. He came to Vanderbilt as a visiting resident in 1991 and stayed to do a clinical fellowship in medicine (nephrology). He then was appointed assistant professor of Medicine. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, is on the editorial board of three other journals and is a member of American Society of Clinical Investigation.

“I am humbled and very excited. I could not even dream of receiving such an honor when I first started my fellowship 15 years ago here at VUMC,” Ikizler said. “Personally, it has a special meaning because it is named after the late wife of my mentor, Dr. Hakim. Professionally, it is a unique accomplishment in one's career. It also puts more pressure on me to be better in the future.”