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Josef Coresh

An ounce of prevention for kidney disease

As a Hopkins medical student in the 1980s, Josef Coresh saw a number of patients so debilitated by advanced stages of kidney and heart disease that he decided to devote himself to prevention. Mentored by Michael J. Klag, a pioneering kidney disease epidemiologist and now dean of the School, Coresh shifted the focus of his work to the epidemiology of chronic kidney disease (CKD). At the time, there were very few epidemiologists studying CKD, and some of his studies of the earlier stages of the disease were met with criticism.

With chronic kidney disease, patients undergo loss of kidney function over time. The symptoms of intermediate kidney loss are subtle—hypertension, anemia, bone disease and weight loss—and often they go unrecognized and undiagnosed. If the kidney disease advances to its end stage, in which 90 percent of kidney function is lost and they fail to filter blood adequately, dialysis or transplantation is the only means for staying alive.

By Coresh's estimate, more than 20 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, but only 1 in 10 people has been diagnosed. Recently Coresh, professor of Epidemiology, was selected to chair the U.S. Renal Data Survey (USRDS) scientific advisory committee. The USRDS tracks the number of dialysis and kidney transplantation patients over time, documenting their treatment and complications. According to the survey's data, end-stage renal disease has more than doubled since 1991, to over 472,000 patients, and projections show it continuing to rise, perhaps doubling again in the next decade. (Coresh documents the increase in "Prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States," published November 7, 2007, in JAMA.) "Where we are today with chronic kidney disease," says Coresh, "is where hypertension was in the '70s."

We know that optimizing hypertension and diabetes treatments is critical to preventing CKD or its advancement. So why the increased prevalence of CKD? We have increasing data that the rise in obesity and diabetes is responsible in part. Also, more Americans are living longer, and more people are surviving heart attacks to experience end-organ failure, including heart and kidney failure.

If Coresh, MD, PhD, MHS '92, can promote earlier detection, providers will know to test for CKD more regularly. And they'll prescribe kidney-sensitive treatments for their patients, especially older adults and those who are likely to receive treatments and medication that can injure already compromised kidneys.

"Recognition is the big thing," says Coresh. "People know if they have hypertension, people know if they have diabetes—but they don't know if they have compromised kidney function." There is an unrecognized pool of people with CKD. His goal is to close the gap between the diagnosed few and the undiagnosed millions.

Nirbhay Kumar

Nirbhay Kumar, PhD, MSc, professor, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions to the field of parasitology. Through the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, Kumar is investigating molecular mechanisms involved in sexual stage development of the malaria parasite, and he is identifying proteins for a transmission-blocking vaccine.

Jacqueline Agnew

Jacqueline Agnew, PhD '85, MPH '78, professor, Environmental Health Sciences (EHS), received a five-year, $5.7 million grant from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences for occupational health and safety programs.

Timothy Baker, MD, MPH '54, professor, International Health, served as guest editor for a special issue on global health for Maryland Medicine, the Maryland Medical Journal.

Jane Bertrand

Jane Bertrand, PhD, MBA, director of the Center for Communication Programs, professor of Health, Behavior and Society, received the Marjorie C. Horn Operations Research Award, presented by the Office of Population and Reproductive Health, of USAID. The award recognizes excellence in operations and program research and the utilization of research results to improve programs.

Patrick Breysse

Patrick Breysse, PhD '85, MHS '80, professor, EHS, was chosen to chair the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Safety and Occupational Health Study Section.

Benjamin Caballero

Benjamin Caballero, MD, PhD, professor, International Health, has been named to the Advisory Board of the Food and Drug Administration. He also has been selected to join the Board of the Pan American Health Education Foundation.

Laura Caulfield

Laura Caulfield, PhD, professor, International Health, has been named chair-elect of the International Nutrition Council of the American Society of Nutrition.

Michele R. Cooley

Michele R. Cooley, PhD, MEd, associate professor in Mental Health, has been appointed to the Child Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities Study Section, Center for Scientific Review.

Francesca Dominici

Francesca Dominici, PhD, professor, Biostatistics, is this year's Myrto Lefkopoulou Distinguished Lecturer at Harvard University's Department of Biostatistics.

Janice Evans, PhD, associate professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Reproduction. She also has been elected to be vice chair in 2009 of the Gordon Research Conference on Fertilization and Activation of Development, and she will serve as chair in 2011.

Linda Fried, MD, MPH, professor, Epidemiology, received the Mary Betty Stevens Award from the American College of Physicians, Maryland Chapter; the UCLA David H. Solomon Award in September, 2007; the Johns Hopkins University 2007 Diversity Recognition Award; and the 2007 women's Leadership Award from the Johns Hopkins Women's Network.

C. Debra Furr-Holden, PhD '99, assistant professor, Mental Health, has been appointed to the Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions Study Section.

Stephen Gange, PhD, professor, Epidemiology, was elected to the American Statistical Association Council of Sections representing the Section on Statistics in Epidemiology in 2008.

Robert Gilman, MD, professor, International Health, received the 2007 Ben Kean Medal from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Thaddeus K. Graczyk, PhD, MSc, associate professor, EHS, was awarded Honorary Membership to the Polish Parasitological Society. 2

Bernard Guyer

Bernard Guyer, MD, MPH, professor, Population, Family and Reproductive Health (PFRH), was named chair of the National Academies of Science Board on Children, Youth and Families.

Michelle J. Hindin, PhD '98, MHS '90, associate professor, PFRH, received the AMTRA (Advising, Mentoring & Teaching Recognition Award) by the School's Student Assembly. She has also received the 2007 Faculty Innovation Fund Award.

Rafael Irizarry

Rafael Irizarry, PhD, associate professor, Biostatistics, received the American Statistical Association's 2007 W.J. Youden Award in Interlaboratory Testing.

Hongkai Ji, assistant professor, Biostatistics, received an award from the Richard L. Gelb Cancer Research Fund.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy received the 2007 Injury Prevention and Control Health Impact Award, from the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for its research efforts to reduce the incidence, severity and consequences of injuries.

Thomas Kensler, PhD, professor, EHS, received the 2007 AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention.

Robert Lawrence, MD, director, Center for a Livable Future, professor, EHS, was elected chair of the Board of Trustees of Physicians for Human Rights, a human rights advocacy organization that was co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for its leadership in the Ban Landmines campaign.

Sheng Luo, PhD candidate in Biostatistics, is the recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the American Statistical Association's Section of Statistics in Epidemiology.

Cindy L. Parker, MD, MPH, instructor, EHS, received the Cofounders Award for Excellence in Crisis Intervention/Trauma Research from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. Parker and Daniel Barnett, MD, MPH '01, instructor, EHS, received a National Association of Counties Achievement Award from the Montgomery County, Maryland County Executive.

William Reinke, PhD, MBA, professor, International Health, will receive the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association.

R. Bradley Sack, MD, ScD, professor, International Health, received the Samuel P. Asper Award for Achievement in Advancing International Medical Education by the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association.

Amy Tsui, PhD, director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, professor, PFRH, received the AMTRA award from the School's Student Assembly.

Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, MS, assistant professor, International Health, has joined the Advisory Board of the National Childhood Obesity Foundation.

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