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Highlights from the SSCI Nephrology Young Investigators' Forum

The 14th Annual Southeastern Regional Nephrology Young Investigators' Forum (NYIF), sponsored by the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (SSCI) with support from an educational donation from Amgen, Inc., was held February 25, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The NYIF served as a pre-course to the Annual Southern Regional/Southern Society for Clinical Investigation Meetings, which occurred February 26-28, 2015.

Postdoctoral fellow trainees from adult and pediatric nephrology training programs throughout the Southeast are invited to present their research at the NYIF, which continued in the pattern of previous meetings with all of the presentations representing superior quality research. This year, 17 fellows representing 8 academic medical centers in 6 states were selected to participate. In addition to the nephrology fellow presenters and the panel of 5 judges, there were a number of mentors present for the meeting. The research presentations were divided into basic and clinical research categories with the morning devoted to basic science talks and the afternoon program dedicated to clinical research presentations. All those present contributed to a lively and constructive question-and-answer session following each of the presentations.

Keynote Speaker

This event was initiated with a particularly excellent lecture entitled "Renal Medullary Oxidative Stress in Hypertension" delivered by Professor Allen W. Cowley from the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Subsequent presenters all performed at a very high level, and their knowledge of their area of research and the background literature was impressive. Similarly, their ability to address wide-ranging and probing questions from the audience was equally impressive. This year's program, as with past programs, continued to reflect the superior investigative talent in nephrology training programs in the Southeast.

Basic Science Research Awards


Basic Science Research Awards

  • 1st - Ronak Lakhia, University of Texas Southwestern
  • 2nd - Isaah Vincent, University of Virginia
  • 3rd - Pei-Lun Chu, University of Virginia
  • 4th - Marta Stremska, University of Virginia
  • 5th - Brandi Wynne, Emory University
  • Alt. - Ravindra Boddu, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Clinical Science Research Awards

Clinical Science Research Awards

  • 1st - Sook Park, Emory University
  • 2nd - Caroline West, Medical University of South Carolina
  • 3rd - Mukoso Ozieh, Medical University of South Carolina
  • 4th - Claretha Lyas, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • 5th - Bolanle Omotoso, University of Virginia
  • Alt. - Anuj Regmi, Georgia Regents University

These winners advanced to the National Nephrology Young Investigators Forum, which is held in conjunction with the 2015 Spring National Kidney Foundation Clinical Meeting. We are pleased to recognize the following young investigators who went on to win:

Research Awards Judges
  • Basic Science:
    • 1st place: Ronak Lakhia
    • 2nd place: Pei-Lun Chu
    • 3rd place: Brandi Wynne
  • Clinical Science:
    • 1st place: Sook Park

The value of the NYIF for the trainees is extraordinary. This unique setting provides a forum where fellows can present original research orally to a small group of peers. This setting provides a novel, non-threatening environment for presentation and discussion for fellows and among fellows from different training programs in the region. There are no other meeting venues or environments that allow this high level of oral presentation and personal interaction for this level of training. Between and after sessions, trainees are afforded the extraordinary opportunity to interact personally with the peer group of researcher-trainees from the region; and nationally if selected to advance to the national meeting. They have the opportunity to talk with and interact with a panel of judges who comprise a group of senior nephrologists and program leaders in the Southeast. They have the opportunity to network with other trainees in the region and nationally. It should also be noted that a number of trainee presenters at earlier NYIF programs have graduated to become our new young academic faculty for a number of nephrology programs in the Southeast and elsewhere.

Many of the trainees spontaneously remarked that the meeting was a resounding success and an outstanding event for fellow participation.


Keynote Address - Allen W. Cowley, Jr., PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin
Renal Medullary Oxidative Stress in Hypertension

Basic Science Presentations

BS-01 - Ravindra Boddu, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 Deficiency Leads to Altered Kidney and Macrophage Homeostasis with Abnormal Hemoglobin Deposition

BS-02 - Pei-Lun Chu, MD, PhD, University of Virginia
Role of Collectrin, an X Chromosome Gene, on Blood Pressure Regulation

BS-03 - Ronak Lakhia, MD, University of Texas Southwestern
Deletion of miR-21 Attenuates Cyst Growth in a Genetic Model of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

BS-04 - Kunal K. Parekh, MD, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Renoprotective Effects of Paricalcitol in Diabetic Kidney Disease

BS-05 - Colin Reily, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Abnormal STAT3 Signaling from IL-6 Exposure Enhances Production of Autoantigen in an Autoimmune Disease, IgA Nephropathy

BS-06 - Marta Stremska, University of Virginia
Cellular Mechanisms of a Novel IL233 Cytokine Therapy in Preventing AKI

BS-07 - Isaah Vincent, PhD, University of Virginia
Natural Killer Cells Regulate Renal Fibrosis after Acute Kidney Injury

BS-08 - Brandi M. Wynne, PhD, Emory University
The Sodium Chloride Cotransporter and the Epithelial Sodium Channel Interact within the Distal Convoluted Tubule, and is Modulated via Serum Glucocorticoid Regulated Kinase-1

Clinical Science Presentations

CR-01 - Noble Iwuagwu, MD, Georgia Regents University
Risk Factors for Death from Peritonitis in Hospitalized Peritoneal Dialysis Patients

CR-02 - Claretha Lyas, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Associations of Socioeconomic Status with Markers of Mineral Metabolism in Community-Dwelling Adults

CR-03 - Osita W. Okechukwu, MD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Adherence to Anti-Hypertensive Drugs and 1-Year Hospitalizations in a Cohort of Prevalent Hemodialysis Patients

CR-04 - Bolanle A. Omotoso, MBChB, University of Virginia
Dialysis Requirement and Long-Term Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events (MACE) in Hospital Acquired Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) – A Propensity-Matched Cohort Study

CR-05 - Mukoso N. Ozieh, MD, Medical University of South Carolina
Trend of Health Care Expenditure in United States Adults with CKD: 2002-2011

CR-06 - Vishal B. Parekh, MD, Emory University
Peritonitis Incidence Rates at a Major Inner City Peritoneal Dialysis Center

CR-07 - Sook H. Park, MD, Emory University
Intradialytic Hypertension: Role of Sympathetic Nervous System Overactivation

CR-08 - Anju Regmi, MD, Georgia Regents University
Quality Improvement Process and Fellow Education Improves Referral Rates for Transplant and Dialysis Access

CR-09 - Caroline West, MD, Medical University of South Carolina
Developing a Screening Algorithm for Diagnosing Type II Diabetes Mellitus in the Resource-Limited Setting of Rural Tanzania

Related Information


The SSCI Thanks Its Sponsors

  • Elsevier sponsors The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation
  • AstraZeneca sponsors The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation