Congratulations to Jeffrey Miner, PhD, JASN, who was recently elected President-elect of the American Society for Matrix Biology (ASMB) for 2019-2020. He will serve as president from 2021-2022. Dr. Miner is Professor of Medicine and Director of Basic Research in the Division of Nephrology and Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology at Washington University School of Medicine.
The ASMB promotes basic, translational, and clinical research on the extracellular matrix (ECM), cell-ECM interactions, and ECM-based therapies and devices. As president-elect, Miner will chair the 2020 biennial meeting of the ASMB.
Miner is also co-organizer of the upcoming ASMB 2019 Basement Membranes Workshop to be held at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN, July 10-12. This workshop is the only international forum for the dissemination of new ideas and information about the structure and biological functions of basement membranes. It is held in odd years and is meant to complement ASMB’s biennial meeting, which is held in even years. Dr. Roy Zent, of the Division of Nephrology at Vanderbilt Medical Center, will jointly chair the workshop. Miner and Zent co-organized the inaugural ASMB basement membranes workshop in 2017.
Miner received his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1991. A Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund Fellow, Miner came to Washington University in 1992 for postdoctoral training in the neurobiology laboratory of Dr. Joshua Sanes to study the role of novel collagen IV chains in the synaptic basement membrane of the neuromuscular junction.
The Sanes’ lab is where Miner found his “accidental” calling to kidney disease research. He found that the laminin and collagen IV isoforms in the synaptic basement membrane were also present in the kidney glomerular basement membrane. The knockout mice lacking laminin ß2 or collagen α3(IV) that Miner was studying turned out to have kidney disease – a nephrotic syndrome later termed Pierson syndrome for LAMB2 and Alport syndrome for COL4A3.
Miner transferred to the Division of Nephrology as Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1996 and has had continuous funding through the NIH, private foundations and industry since 1997. He received the American Society of Nephrology’s Young Investigator Award in 2004 and chaired the Gordon Research Conference on Basement Membranes in 2008. He was an ASMB Councilor from 2009-2012.
As President, Miner says that he will focus on “increasing the membership of the Society, ensuring the success of junior faculty, and heightening the visibility of matrix biology within the greater biomedical research community.”