Published on January 31, 2023 | In 2002, the PKD Foundation and the International Society of Nephrology established the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement In the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease, also known as the Kaplan Award. Created in memory of Thomas Kaplan’s mother, Lillian Jean Kaplan, who past away from PKD, the award recognizes individuals whose scientific work results in tangible achievement toward improving the knowledge and treatment of PKD.
The PKD Foundation is pleased to announce that Terry J. Watnick, M.D., is the winner of the 2023 Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement In the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease. Dr. Watnick will be presented the award at the International Society of Nephrology World Congress of Nephrology Meeting on April 1. The award includes $50,000, an inscribed Tiffany & Co. bowl, and a citation depicting Dr. Watnick’s work.
What’s the Kaplan Award?
For over 20 years, Thomas Kaplan has generously donated more than $4.6 million to the PKD Foundation, which includes more than $1 million in support of the Kaplan Award. The Kaplan award recognizes individuals whose scientific work results in tangible achievement toward improving the knowledge and treatment of PKD. We’re incredibly grateful for Thomas Kaplan’s generous support on the path to finding a cure for PKD.
Meet the 2023 Kaplan Award Winner
“I am humbled by this award and honored to join a group of individuals who have contributed so significantly to advancing our understanding of polycystic kidney disease and its complications. Over the past 20 years, we have gone from primarily providing supportive care to having an FDA-approved medication. I look forward to the next 20 years with optimism.”
—Terry Watnick, M.D.
Who is Dr. Watnick?
Dr. Watnick was involved in developing the first genetic test for ADPKD and, alongside colleagues, made several important discoveries about the genetic basis of PKD using DNA analysis. Since then, she’s established an independent laboratory. There, she’s applying multiple approaches to understanding PKD biology, including using model organisms. Dr. Watnick’s work has made an important contribution to understanding the critical function that PKD proteins play in vasculature. She continues to work on the genetics and pathophysiology of aneurysm formation, a poorly understood manifestation of ADPKD.
As an investigator, Dr. Watnick has been involved in multi-center trials, including TEMPO, REPRISE, and TAME. Previously, she served as chair of the PKD Foundation Scientific Advisory Panel and supports collaborative science to achieve a cure for PKD. Since 2010, she’s led the Maryland PKD Research and Translation Core Center and is co-principal investigator of the coordinating site for the NIH-funded PKD Centers program. In this capacity, Dr. Watnick works to ensure that research resources are distributed to a broad community of investigators to advance cutting-edge PKD science.
Congratulations to Dr. Watnick on this prestigious award and thank you for your dedication in the fight to #endPKD!
To learn more about about ongoing PKD research, check out the PKD Foundation’s current funded research.