Scientific Advisory Panel
Made up of 13 prestigious PKD physicians and scientists, the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) oversees our research and medical programs aimed at discovering and delivering treatments for PKD. The SAP meets throughout the year to discuss relevant medical issues, provide guidance to our staff and review and approve research applications for grants and fellowships in the field of PKD science. All our materials are approved by SAP members, who possess the highest level of experience and knowledge in PKD clinical and scientific work.
MICHAL MRUG, M.D.
University of Alabama at Birmingham – Department of Medicine/Division of Nephrology
VISHAL PATEL, M.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. Patel runs a pre-clinical polycystic kidney disease research laboratory at UT Southwestern. His research is focused on understanding the role of microRNAs in PKD progression and developing microRNA-based drugs for PKD. His laboratory is funded by grants from the NIH and the PKD foundation. In addition to research, Dr. Patel also sees patients at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. He is planning to launch a new multidisciplinary clinic in the coming months with the goal of providing comprehensive clinical care for PKD patients at UT Southwestern.
MICHAEL CAPLAN, M.D., PH.D.
Michael J. Caplan is the C.N.H. Long Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and Professor of Cell Biology at the Yale University School of Medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1980, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1987, working in the laboratories of Drs. J.D. Jamieson and G.E. Palade. He joined Yale’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology as a faculty member in 1988. He has received fellowships from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation for Science and Engineering and a National Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. He has received the Young Investigator Awards from the American Physiological Society and the American Society of Nephrologists, and has delivered the American Physiological Society’s Carl W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lectureship. He has been elected to membership in the American Association of Physicians and has also been very honored to receive Yale University School of Medicine’s Bohmfalk Prize for teaching and to be selected as the first recipient of Yale University’s Award for Postdoctoral Mentorship. His scientific work addresses the ways in which epithelial cells communicate with one another to generate and maintain their unique structures. His laboratory is focused on Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease, a prevalent and serious genetic disorder and a major cause of kidney failure. The Caplan laboratory is working to understand the mechanisms responsible for this condition and to identify targets for new therapies.
EMILIE CORNEC-LE GALL, M.D., PH.D.
University of Brest, France
NEERA DAHL, M.D.
ERUM HARTUNG, M.D.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
KATHARINA HOPP, PH.D.
University of Colorado Denver
Dr. Katharina Hopp, Ph.D., is as Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus, where her lab studies the pathomechanisms that drive kidney cyst growth using a wide variety of rodent models and in vitro cell culture systems. Specifically, her lab researches the functional role of immune cells in PKD progression. She is interested in understanding the interplay between immune cells and the cystic epithelium and whether it could be therapeutically targeted to slow kidney cyst growth. More recently, Dr. Hopp became inspired by findings from the cancer field highlighting that metabolic dysregulation impacts the anti-tumor function of immune cells. Appreciating the effect that metabolic reprogramming has on PKD pathology, her lab studies how dysregulated metabolism alters the cystic immune microenvironment and whether dietary/metabolism-based approaches can prime immune cells in functioning to slow cyst growth. Lastly, Dr. Hopp directs a preclinical PKD core which utilizes a variety of murine PKD models, in vivo imaging techniques, toxicology and pharmacodynamic assays, and detailed pathology analyses to evaluate therapeutic efficacy of novel compounds aimed to slow PKD progression.
JINGHUA HU, PH.D.
Jinghua Hu, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Hu received his Ph.D. from Chinese Academy of Science in 2001. He completed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Maureen M. Barr at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was recruited as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and BMB in 2007.
Dr. Hu’s research systematically explores cilia-related human diseases, or collectively termed ciliopathies, by using various disease models from the inexpensive and efficient nematode C. elegans, to cultured mammalian cells and genetically-engineered rodent models. His lab has developed numerous ciliopathy models of ciliopathies, including ADPKD and other syndromic renal disorders such as nephronophthisis, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, Meckel-Gruber syndrome, and Joubert syndrome, with the goal of understanding the pathogenesis of cystogenesis and testing the potential for diagnostic/therapeutic purposes. Dr. Hu administered numerous extramural funding, and presently holds two R01 grants from NIDDK, and Co-PI on another two R01s with his Mayo colleagues. Dr. Hu also serves as a Co-director of the Model Organism Core in NIH-funded P30 Mayo Translational PKD Center.
MAX CHRISTOPH LIEBAU, M.D.
University Hospital Cologne
GREGORY PAZOUR, PH.D.
University of Massachusetts
FENG QIAN, PH.D.
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Dr. Qian joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor and moved to University of Maryland School of Medicine as an Associate Professor in 2012. He studies the function of proteins encoded by genes whose mutations cause human polycystic kidney disease to establish a firm mechanistic understanding of the disease process. His laboratory has discovered cis-autoproteolytic cleavage of polycystin-1 at the juxtamembrane GPCR proteolysis site (GPS) motif and has established this post-translational modification as a key regulatory mechanism of the protein. His laboratory is currently focusing on investigating molecular mechanisms of biogenesis, ciliary trafficking, ion channel function of polycystins for proper renal morphology and function.
FREDERIC RAHBARI-OSKOUI, M.D.
Emory University School of Medicine
Dr. Rahbari completed a second internal medicine residency program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center-Columbia University in 2002 and enrolled in a 3-year academic track fellowship in Nephrology and cystic kidney diseases under Dr. Arlene Chapman’s mentorship at Emory University. He joined the Faculty at Emory University in 2006 as an instructor in medicine and was promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor of Medicine in 2008 and Associate Professor of Medicine in 2014.
Dr. Rahbari’s research expertise is in the fields of renal cystic diseases and particularly polycystic kidney disease. He has been an investigator in several landmark trials in ADPKD including: HALT-PKD, TEMPO, REPRISE, and the CRISP observational cohort. His other areas of interest are hypertension, imaging studies of the kidneys and acute kidney injury.
Dr. Rahbari has coauthored more than 40 original articles, review articles, UpToDate chapters, communication letters, and about 40 abstracts and poster presentations at local and national meetings.
Dr. Rahbari firmly supports the fantastic effort of the PKD Foundation and has been a regular participant in the Walk for PKD, fundraising and patient information sessions in GA, NC, and TN.
ROBERT H. WEISS, M.D.
University of California Davis, Sacramento VA Medical Center
ALAN YU, M.B., B.CHIR
University of Kansas Medical Center
Dr. Yu is a general nephrologist who sees the full spectrum of kidney diseases. He has a special interest in fluid, electrolyte and acid-base disorders, including hyponatremia, hypernatremia, hypokalemia, hyperkalemia, hypomagnesemia, renal tubular acidosis, and inherited tubulopathies, particularly Barrter’s and Gitelman’s syndrome.
Page last updated April 2023