Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement in the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

The Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for the Advancement in the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), created in 2002, recognizes a medical professional or researcher exhibiting excellence and leadership in PKD clinical or basic research. The $50,000 cash prize is one of the most significant awards in the medical research field.

 

The award was established by the PKD Foundation and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) through the generosity of Thomas S. Kaplan and Daphne Recanati Kaplan of New York, in memory of Tom’s mother, Lillian Jean Kaplan, who was a PKD sufferer and died in 2002. The award is funded by the Recanati-Kaplan Foundation.

 

The long-term goal of the prize is to stimulate members of the scientific and medical community throughout the world to increase, or to begin, research that will lead to a treatment and cure for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from PKD. It also aims to generate momentum in the field as well as public awareness about the disease.

 

The 2015 recipients are Peter Igarashi, M.D., and Gregory J. Pazour, Ph.D. The doctors received their prize in person at the World Congress of Nephrology in Cape Town in March 2015. In addition to the $50,000 cash prize, a citation depicting the winner's work and a Steuben crystal sculpture will be presented. The awardees will present a lecture during the World Congress of Nephrology.

 

2015 Award Recipients

Peter Igarashi, M.D.Peter Igarashi, M.D.

Dr. Igarashi is the Nesbitt Chair and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He previously served as Chief of the Nephrology Division at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where much of his work on PKD was conducted.

Dr. Igarashi has 30 years of research experience in kidney development, stem cells and PKD. His laboratory has identified new proteins that control genes and characterized their roles in cystic kidney disease. In addition, Dr. Igarashi has studied the role of the primary cilium in the progression of PKD. His group demonstrated that inactivation of a gene needed for the production of the primary cilium causes polycystic kidneys. Recent studies from his laboratory have revealed that non-protein coding genes play a role in PKD and represent potential therapeutic targets.

He received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Riverside, and his M.D. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. He completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of California, Davis Medical Center and a nephrology fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine.


Gregory J. Pazour, Ph.D.Gregory J. Pazour, Ph.D.

Gregory J. Pazour, Ph.D., is a Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he is working to understand the function of the primary cilium in mammalian development and disease. Dr. Pazour has a broad background in cilia. His postdoctoral work focused on the function and assembly mechanisms of cilia in the green alga Chlamydomonas. Work with colleagues George Witman, Joel Rosenbaum and Doug Cole demonstrated that the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system was critical for ciliary assembly.

Unexpectedly, they found that the Tg737 polycystic kidney disease gene encoded the intraflagellar transport protein IFT88 and showed that this gene is required for ciliary assembly in both Chlamydomonas and in the mouse kidney. This was the first demonstration of a ciliary defect causing polycystic kidney disease. He later went on to show that polycystin-2, the protein encoded by the human autosomal dominant PKD2 gene, is localized to cilia. These studies laid the groundwork for our current appreciation of the role of cilia in polycystic kidney disease and helped establish that the primary cilium is a sensory organelle. His laboratory is currently focused on understanding the functions of the intraflagellar transport proteins using the mouse model. This work established that cilia play critical roles in many organs including the heart and eye.

Dr. Pazour earned B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Biology from South Dakota State University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. He did postdoctoral work at the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research.


Prize Description

There is a prize of $50,000 USD payable in American funds to an individual winner. More than one prize may be made.

The Prize may be awarded to residents of any country without restriction as to nationality.

The 2015 Prize will be presented at the World Congress of Nephrology in Cape Town in March 2015. In addition to the $50,000 USD prize, a citation depicting the winner's work and a Steuben crystal sculpture will be presented.

The awardee(s) will present a lecture during the World Congress of Nephrology.


Past Award Recipients

2013 Recipients

Dr. Vincent GattoneDr. Vincent Gattone

Indiana University School of Medicine
Indianapolis, IN

Dr. Gattone passed away in January of 2014. Read more about his life's work here.

Dr. Dorien PetersDr. Dorien Peters

Leiden University Medical Center
Leiden, Netherlands


2011 Recipients

Dr. Gerd WalzDr. Gerd Walz

University of Freiburg Medical Center
Germany

Dr. James CalvetDr. James Calvet

University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, KS


2009 Recipients

Dr. Lisa Guay-Woodford, M.D.Dr. Lisa Guay-Woodford, M.D.

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL

Dr. Corinne AntignacDr. Corinne Antignac

Necker Hospital
Paris, France

   

Dr. Frieldhelm HildebrandtDr. Frieldhelm Hildebrandt

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 

 

2007 Recipients

Dr. Jing ZhouDr. Jing Zhou

Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Director of the Harvard Centre of Polycystic Kidney Disease Research
Boston, MA

Dr. Vicente TorresDr. Vicente Torres

Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Rochester, MN


2005 Recipients

Dr. Greg GerminoDr. Greg Germino

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Dr. Stefan SomloDr. Stefan Somlo

Yale University School of Medicine
New Haven, CT


2003 Recipients

Dr. Jared J. GranthamDr. Jared J. Grantham

University Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center; Director of the University of Kansas Medical Center Kidney Institute
Kansas City, KS

Dr. Peter HarrisDr. Peter Harris

Professor of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Medicine, Mayo Medical School and Consultant, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

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©2015, PKD Foundation ·The PKD Foundation is a 501 (c)(3), 509 (a)(1) public charity.

©2015, PKD Foundation ·The PKD Foundation is a 501 (c)(3), 509 (a)(1) public charity.