Martin Pollak, MD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Chief of Nephrology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, will launch the Eduardo Slatopolsky Lectureship with a presentation titled Kidney Disease in African Americans.
The inaugural lecture will take place at Medical Grand Rounds, Thursday, March 22, 2018, 8-9 am, in the Clopton Auditorium, Wohl Clinic building (lower level).
The lectureship honors Eduardo Slatopolsky, MD, Professor Emeritus, Division of Nephrology. Dr. Slatopolsky dedicated his career to the study of kidney disease and mineral metabolism. His contributions to the understanding of the pathophysiology of secondary hyperparathyroidism, hyperphosphatemia and vitamin D biology are recognized worldwide. Dr. Slatopolsky came to the Department of Internal Medicine as a post-doctoral trainee in the Renal Division in 1963. By 1967, he was director of the Chromalloy American Kidney Center, a position he held for the next 30 years. Dr. Slatopolsky remained active in research until his retirement in 2016; his latest manuscript was published in 2017.
Dr. Pollak, director of The Laboratory of Inherited Kidney Disease at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, studies the molecular and genetic basis of kidney disease in humans. His laboratory is currently involved in identifying genes associated in the development of focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). One of the genes identified so far is APOL1, an apoprotein component of high-density lipoprotein. Variants in APOL1 are known to confer resistance to the single-celled parasite Trypanosoma brucei, the cause of trypanosomiasis, a serious disease (“sleeping sickness”) in some African regions. However, these variants are also known to contribute to kidney disease later in life. African Americans are disproportionately at risk for non-diabetic kidney disease, FSGS in particular. Having a mutated APOL1 gene may be a reason for the increased incidence of FSGS among people of African descent.
Please plan to attend Dr. Pollak’s presentation and help celebrate an exciting start to the Eduardo Slatopolsky Lectureship!