The Division of Nephrology is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Miner has been named the inaugural Eduardo and Judith Slatopolsky Endowed Professor of Medicine in Nephrology. Miner also serves as Director of Basic Research for the Division.
Miner is an international leader in basement membrane biology and how basement membranes are involved in kidney function and disease. He is an expert in research on Alport Syndrome, a genetic disease of the kidney glomerular basement membrane. Miner’s laboratory is focused on understanding why the kidney fails in Alport syndrome and how to slow or stop kidney disease progression. His research combines the use of mouse models of the disease with state-of-the-art genetic and imaging approaches and direct testing of drugs as potential therapeutics.
The professorship honors Eduardo Slatopolsky, MD, Professor Emeritus, Division of Nephrology, and his wife, Judith, who died in 2012; they were married for 52 years. 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. He came to the Department of Internal Medicine a a postdoctoral 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. He remained active in research until his retirement in 2016.
“The scientific environment I found at Washington University, its human resources, and the continuing support I receive from my colleagues has been the best part of my life. I am grateful to be able to give something back to our division after all it has given me throughout my entire career.”Eduardo Slatopolsky, MD, Professor Emeritus, Nephrology
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’ laboratory is where Miner found his “accidental calling” to kidney disease research. He found that laminin and collagen IV isoforms in the synaptic basement membrane were also present in the kidney glomerular basement membrane. Miner was studying knockout mice lacking lamininB2 and a3(IV) and found that the mice developed kidney disease – a nephrotic syndrome later termed Pierson syndrome for LAMB2 and Alport syndrome for COL4A3.
Miner ultimately decided to transfer to the Division of Nephrology. “I remember when I interviewed for my faculty position in Nephrology. Dr. Slatopolsky gave me a 30 minute crash course in calcium, phosphate, vitamin D, and parathyroid hormone biology!”
Miner joined our division as Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1996 and has had continuous funding through the NIH, private foundations and industry since 1997. More recently, Miner was elected President-elect of the American Society for Matrix Biology (ASMB) for 2019-2021 and will serve as President from 2022-2023. In 2019, he was awarded a Core Large Initiative grant by the Children’s Discovery Institute to fund the Pediatric Disease Mouse Models Core, which generates mouse models for pediatric disease research using state-of-the-art CRISPR/Cas9 technologies. He also is the author of the textbook titled “Basement Membranes.”
Miner feels honored to be named the first Eduardo and Judith Slatopolsky Professor of Medicine in Nephology.
Dr. Slatopolsky is such a legend in renal physiology. Eduardo’s many career accomplishments set an extremely high bar that I, and I assume future holders of this Professorship, will try our best to attain.Jeffry Miner, PhD, Eduardo and Judith Slatopolsky Professor of Medicine in Nephrology