PKD research fellowships

PKD Foundation awards fellowships to promising PKD researchers

To move us forward in finding treatments, we have selected five outstanding researchers as recipients of the 2015 PKD Foundation Fellowships. The fellowships recognize early-career scientists whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars – the next generation of scientific leaders in PKD research. Each fellow receives $50,000 a year for two years, totaling a half-million dollars.

“The caliber of applicants was very impressive. This fellowship aims to attract promising trainees who will obtain significant research experience as they initiate and – we hope – spend long and productive careers in PKD research,” said Terry Watnick, M.D., PKD Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee Chair. “The PKD Foundation wants to foster research to further our understanding of the physiological, biochemical and genetic mechanisms of PKD, and this is a key way to accomplish that.”

Read a Q&A from fellowship mentor Stefan Somlo, M.D.

Genetic mechanisms of cyst pathogenesis in polycystic liver and kidney diseases

Whitney Besse, M.D.Whitney Besse, M.D.
Yale School of Medicine

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Genetic mechanisms of cyst pathogenesis in polycystic liver and kidney diseases

Whitney Besse, M.D.Whitney Besse, M.D.
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Besse earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Brown University, a medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and completed residencies in internal medicine and nephrology at the Yale School of Medicine. Her mentor, Stefan Somlo, M.D., is director of the Center for Polycystic Disease Research at Yale School of Medicine.

Read more about Dr. Besse

Can Mcp1 knock-out and blockage of macrophage receptor CCR2 alter the outcome of polycystic kidney disease?

Marcelo Cassini, M.D., Ph.D.Marcelo Cassini, M.D., Ph.D.
Yale School of Medicine

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Can Mcp1 knock-out and blockage of macrophage receptor CCR2 alter the outcome of polycystic kidney disease?

Marcelo Cassini, M.D., Ph.D.Marcelo Cassini, M.D., Ph.D.
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Cassini earned an M.S. degree in kidney transplantation and a Ph.D. in kidney injury from the University of Sao Paulo – Brazil. He received his medical degree at Federal Fluminense University in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil and completed residency training in surgery and urology at State University of Rio de Janeiro. His research is under the guidance of mentor Lloyd Cantley, M.D., at Yale School of Medicine.

Read more about Dr. Cassini

The role of Tuba in ciliogenesis and cytogenesis

Jeong-In Baek, Ph.D.Jeong-In Baek, Ph.D.
Medical University of South Carolina

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The role of Tuba in ciliogenesis and cytogenesis

Jeong-In Baek, Ph.D.Jeong-In Baek, Ph.D.
Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Baek is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in molecular biology, and a Ph.D. in human genetics from Kyungpook National University in South Korea. She has authored over 21 publications (nine as first author). Her research is under the mentorship of Joshua Lipschutz, M.D., internationally known expert in renal ciliogenesis and PKD.

The regulation of cardiac remodeling by PC1 and SMYD1 in polycystic kidney disease

Jacqueline Peda, Ph.D.Jacqueline Peda, Ph.D.
University of Kansas Medical Center

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The regulation of cardiac remodeling by PC1 and SMYD1 in polycystic kidney disease

Jacqueline Peda, Ph.D.Jacqueline Peda, Ph.D.
University of Kansas Medical Center

Dr. Peda earned her B.S. in biology at Washburn University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in pathology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is pursuing post-doctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. Xiaogang Li at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Targeting glutamine metabolism as a potential treatment for ADPKD

Irfana Soomro, MBBSIrfana Soomro, MBBS
New York University Langone Medical Center

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Targeting glutamine metabolism as a potential treatment for ADPKD

Irfana Soomro, MBBSIrfana Soomro, MBBS
New York University Langone Medical Center

Dr. Soomro earned her MBBS (bachelor of medicine/surgery) at Dow Medical College – Karachi, Pakistan. She is a clinical instructor in the division of nephrology at New York University Langone Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital Medical Center. Her research is under the mentorship of Edward Skolnik, M.D., director of the Division of Nephrology.