December 2, 2005

Neilson’s nephrology research lands award

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Eric Neilson, M.D.

Neilson’s nephrology research lands award

Eric G. Neilson, M.D., chair of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Department of Medicine, was recently honored by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) with its 2005 John P. Peters Award.

Created in 1983, the award recognizes those who have made substantial contributions to nephrology research and have sustained achievements in the areas of academic medicine, including clinical care, education and leadership.

“I was totally surprised by the announcement a few months ago, but I must say it is especially nice to be recognized by your longtime colleagues and peers,” said Neilson. “I am particularly proud to share this moment with the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension here at Vanderbilt.”

Past honorees include the late Roscoe Robinson, M.D., former vice chancellor for Health Affairs, who was honored in 1991.

“We are immensely honored that Eric Neilson has been named to receive the prestigious John Peters Award,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs at VUMC.

“It is a testament to his insightful research and strong leadership of the department, and it continues Vanderbilt's legacy of being at the forefront among institutions dedicated to advancing the field of nephrology.”

Neilson's research interests are in interstitial nephritis, anti-GBM disease, expression of nephritogenic immune response, biochemical identification of nephritogenic antigens, fibrosis and the cellular mechanisms of renal failure.

According to the ASN, Neilson's research of immunologic diseases has provided new insights into the understanding of the development of organ fibrogenesis and cellular transdifferentiation.

He and his colleagues developed experimental strategies for explaining the mechanisms of renal injury by analyzing the immunogenetic and interactional events surrounding T cell activation, effector T cell differentiation, immune modulation of renal tubular cells and fibroblasts in anti-basement membrane diseases.

Neilson is a member of many professional societies, and serves as chair of the Research Committee as well as on the board of directors of the Association of Professors of Medicine.

He also serves on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases' Advisory Council and is treasurer of the International Society of Nephrology.

In addition to his professional affiliations, Neilson, also Hugh J. Morgan Professor of Medicine and professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, has edited numerous medical publications and currently maintains positions on Kidney International, the American Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

John Peters, M.D., the award's namesake, former chief of the Metabolic Division in the Department of Medicine at Yale University, is considered one of the fathers of Nephrology.

The 9,500-member ASN was founded in 1967 to enhance and assist the study and practice of nephrology.