New research is critical to tackling kidney disease, the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S. In order to advance research efforts and help find a cure, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) established The Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship as part of its KidneyCure foundation.
The fellowship is named after the former CEO of Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), and the company has contributed $10 million to this effort since the fellowship’s creation in 2012. The program supports research over a two-year period, with five new fellowships funded annually. Since 2012, the program has supported 45 unique studies.
“The Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship gave me a brilliant start,” said Daria Ilatovskaya, PhD, one of the first recipients of the fellowship in 2013, whose research examined causes of nephrotic syndrome, a disorder that passes too much protein through the urine. “The fellowship provided me with protected time to work on this project and develop my own research ideas without worrying about funding running out.”
The program will select another five new fellows for this year and each of the research projects seeks to tackle a unique aspect of kidney disease and new treatments.
Katherine Scovner, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is a 2019 fellow examining whether patient outcomes can be predicted by trends in acid-base status, which is associated with sudden cardiac arrest.
“I hope my research will contribute to our understanding of how hemodialysis affects patient physiology so that we may make it safer for patients overall,” Scovner to told ASN’s Kidney News when receiving her fellowship. “The ASN Foundation provides support for those, like me, in the early stages of their research career as well as some of the most innovative contributions occurring in the field of nephrology.”
The program is highly selective, with an annual funding rate of only 22 percent of applications. Each application is evaluated by the quality of the candidate, including recommendation letters and past productivity. In addition, they are reviewed in terms of the research project, the proposal’s scientific value and feasibility, as well as the research environment, assessing the commitment of the institution associated with the proposed study.
“I was wondering how to move forward in my research career until I received the prestigious Ben J. Lipps fellowship award,” said Nabin Poudel, PhD, whose work examined the mechanism of acute kidney injury (AKI) with a focus on finding new treatments. “My long-term goal is to transition to an independent investigator in the field of AKI research and to train the next generation of investigators.”
The complete list of Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship recipients for 2019 is:
The complete list of Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship recipients for 2020 is:
The complete list of Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship recipients for 2021 is: