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Polycystic Kidney Disease Research – Past, Present & Future: Part III

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Polycystic Kidney Disease Research – Past, Present & Future: Part III

Over the past 50 years there has been significant advancement in Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) research which has allowed for the translation of these findings into not only an increased awareness of the disease but also improvements in clinical management. During “Polycystic Kidney Disease Research – Past, Present and Future: Part I”, we heard from leading experts, James Calvet, PhD and Arlene Chapman, MD, on the past scientific discoveries and clinical advancements made within the field of PKD research.

With all of these impressive accomplishments, leaders in the field know we must not become complacent but instead push the field even further forward in hopes of greater awareness, more management options, and improved patient outcomes. During Part II of our “Polycystic Kidney Disease Research – Past, Present, and Future” webinar we heard from two talented and emerging experts, Vishal Patel, MD & Katharina Hopp, PhD, where they discussed efforts being made to further elucidate the molecular pathways contributing to disease and shed light on cutting edge research that may one day lead to improved options for patients living with PKD.

We conclude this conversation in “Polycystic Kidney Disease Research – Past, Present and Future: Part III” and hear their perspectives on the cutting-edge techniques currently employed and how they see the field of PKD research evolving in the future.

*Dr Hopp is a paid consultant of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC). Dr Patel is an un-paid consultant of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (OPDC).  Dr Hajarnis is an employee of OPDC.


Katharina Hopp

Katharina Hopp, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
    University of Colorado, Denver*

Katharina Hopp, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver, where her lab studies the functional role of immune cells on PKD progression. Dr Katharina Hopp obtained her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a focus on Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) genetics from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. She continued her research in PKD as a post-doctoral fellow at the Mayo Clinic Translational PKD Center.

She is the recipient of the Dr Vincent H. Gattone Research Award from the PKD Foundation (2018).

Vishal Patel

Vishal Patel, MD

Tenured Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
    UT Southwestern Medical Center*

Dr Vishal Patel, MD is a Tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He obtained his medical degree from India in 2000 and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) in 2004. A stint in a kidney research laboratory at Northwestern sparked his interest in Nephrology. Subsequently, he completed a clinical Nephrology fellowship at UT Southwestern (Dallas, TX) in 2005 and then joined the kidney genetics laboratory of Peter Igarashi, MD, at UT Southwestern as an NIH-funded physician-scientist trainee. His early work involved studying the role of primary cilia in polycystic kidney disease pathogenesis (PKD). In 2009, he started his independent laboratory with a focus on understanding the role of non-coding RNAs in PKD. This work has now evolved to understanding basic RNA biology (translation regulation, RNA chemical modifications, etc.) and developing RNA-based therapeutics approaches for PKD and other kidney genetic disorders. Dr Patel’s lab has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2009, and he receives additional funding from the Department of Defense and the PKD foundation.

Dr Patel is also the Director of a Comprehensive PKD and kidney genetics clinic at UT Southwestern. He serves on the editorial board of Scientific Reports, numerous NIH and DoD grant study sections, is the vice-chair of the scientific advisory committee for the PKD Foundation and has served as a consultant for various pharmaceutical companies. He has mentored many junior scientists, including one who is now a K08-funded Physician-Scientist.

Sachin Hajarnis

Sachin Hajarnis, PhD

Nephrology Senior Medical Science Liaison

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.*

Sachin Hajarnis, PhD is a Senior Medical Science Liaison at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. Dr Hajarnis has a Bachelors and Masters in Life Sciences from University of Mumbai, India. He obtained a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Colorado State University. Dr Hajarnis joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical school in Dallas, as a post-doctoral fellow in the department of Nephrology where he performed basic research on various aspects of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). He continued his studies on the role of micro-RNAs in PKD as a Research Scientist for several years before joining his current position at Otsuka.

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