Kidney Week offers special keynotes and sessions on science, policy and the environment



October 16, 2023

4 minute read

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Helio | Nephrology News and Issues Interview Michelle A. Josephson, MD, FASN; The president of the American Society of Nephrology talks about what attendees can expect during Kidney Week in Philadelphia, November 1-5.

Helio | Nephrology News and Issues: This is the first completely live Kidney Week meeting in several years. What convinced you and ASN that it was time to go (back) in that direction?

Michelle A. Josephson, MD, FASN: The data showed that we are ready to go fully live again. We have noticed that the number of learners participating virtually and in real time has decreased over the years. Most Kidney Week conference participants value the opportunity to meet in person.

Michelle A. Josephson

Although there will be no virtual or hybrid events in 2023, educational content will be recorded and posted for on-demand viewing on the ASN eLearning Center in late November and will be provided free of charge to conference attendees .

Helio | Nephrology News and Issues: Organizers have put together two new initial programs: “Genetics in Clinical Nephrology” and “Nephrology – An Emerging Field.” For nephrology and cardiology, does CKD bring these two specialties together?

Michelle A. Josephson, MD, FASN: There is a relationship between these two specialties in that acute and chronic heart failure/heart disease can lead to AKI and chronic kidney disease, and vice versa. It’s a two-way relationship.

Helio | Nephrology News and Issues: A session on artificial kidneys is scheduled. We have seen successful pig heart and kidney transplants. How long do you think we will see this as a reality?

Michelle A. Josephson, MD, FASN: The kidney study was successful in that more was learned, but not all individuals who participated in the study were representative of living donor transplant recipients. Heart recipients did not have long-term survival.

We are excited that xenotransplanted kidneys are being evaluated in first-in-human studies. There is still much to learn from these and other studies before we are ready to conduct full clinical trials of xenotransplants.

Although xenograft kidneys are the first artificial kidney platform studied in humans, there are many scientific and logistical challenges unique to pig-derived kidneys. Other approaches to artificial kidneys, such as decellularization and recellularization or biomechanical kidney platforms, likely present unique challenges.

Although it is too early to tell which platform will be the clear winner, it is not too early to be optimistic that artificial kidneys are still a possibility.

Helio | Nephrology News and Issues: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launches Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OTPN) reform effort to improve organ allocation and reduce number of unused organs Did. Will these reform efforts make a difference?

Michelle A. Josephson, MD, FASN: ASN proudly supported the U.S. OPTN Act and HRSA’s OPTN Modernization Initiative. These initiatives hold great promise to expand access to kidney transplant care by increasing transparency and accountability in the operations of national transplant networks.

Nephrologists and transplant specialists should work with HRSA to help implement modernization initiatives and ensure that they benefit transplant candidates.

A Kidney Week session titled “No Kidney Left Behind: Optimizing the Utilization of Deceased and Living Donor Kidneys” is scheduled for November 3. This session will address the need to develop, improve, implement, and measure new tools and pathways to increase kidney access. We provide life-saving kidney transplants to anyone who needs one or wants to become a living donor.

ASN’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee helped organize this session.

Another session is scheduled for November 2nd titled “Ready-to-use Opportunities to Transform Kidney Transplantation in the United States.”

According to the description, “This session will examine steps the U.S. government is taking or should take to maximize access to kidney transplants and ensure equity of access. Experts will review ready-to-use policies. We address solutions and explain why these changes are necessary from a patient perspective and how they impact general nephrologists and transplant nephrologists alike.”

Helio | Nephrology News and Issues: There has been recent discussion about the need to improve the nephrology curriculum to attract more fellows to the specialty. Has ASN taken any action in this area?

Michelle A. Josephson, MD, FASN: Kidney Week will host an important session on November 3 titled “Winning Team: Nephrology Talent in the 21st Century.” The session introduction states: Concerns about who will care for the patient. The pipeline is running dry. How do we continue to provide care? Finding ways to close the gaps in kidney disease treatment is difficult. However, advanced practitioners can fill in those gaps. ” I think this session can provide some answers on how to address the needs of current and future nephrology staff.

Helio | Nephrology News and Issues: Are there any other sessions in the program that you would like our readers to know about?

Michelle A. Josephson, MD, FASN: Yes, I think these are especially interesting this year.

“Environmental Health and Kidneys” on November 3rd. The introduction defines the focus of this session as “the intersection of environmental conditions and kidney health.”

“ETC home stretch? His “ESKD Treatment Selection Model” session will be held on November 4th and will include a review and analysis of the effectiveness of this ongoing demonstration.

We will also be presenting the ASN President’s Medal Award to photojournalist Ed Kasi, as well as an outstanding keynote speaker who will share some of his powerful and unforgettable photos of people living with chronic illness. Kidney disease of unknown cause. This effort has raised awareness of the issue and, in some cases, led to improved working conditions.

Other sessions include one led by Dr. Bonnie Bassler, who will speak on “A Little Conspiracy: Bacterial Cell-to-Cell Communication and New Approaches to Antibiotics” on November 2nd, and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Erdem Pataptyan. Includes presentation. Who will give a talk titled “How do you feel?” “Touch-Sensing Molecules”, November 3.

On November 4th, Dr. Erica Olman-Sapphire will give a talk titled “Antibodies to Emerging Infectious Diseases: Global Collaboration,” and environmental activist, author, and journalist Bill McKibben will give a talk titled “Too Hot: Human and Non-Emerging Diseases.” Humane Temperature,” November 5th.

To register and learn more about the Kidney Week program, visit

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