Joseph V. Bonventre, MD, PhD
Dr. Bonventre is Chief of the Renal Unit and Director of the Bioengineering Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and has had a long-standing interest in various aspects of cellular injury and repair mechanisms in the kidney with a special emphasis on the role of inflammation, biomarkers and stem cells. He has established the origin of the epithelial cells that repair the kidney after injury as dedifferentiated surviving proximal tubule cells. He was the first to describe the role of proximal tubule cell cycle arrest in the maladaptive fibrosis that can occur after severe injury leading to chronic kidney disease. He discovered and characterized Kidney Injury Molecule-1 (KIM-1) as the most highly upregulated protein in the proximal tubule after injury to the kidney of various types. Kim-1 expression converts the proximal tubule cell to a phagocyte. Kim-1 is also a very sensitive and specific biomarker of proximal tubular injury in a variety of species including man and has been qualified by the FDA and European Medicines Agency as a sensitive and specific marker for kidney injury in preclinical studies of nephrotoxicity. He has created iPS cells from patients with adult onset polycystic kidney disease and are working on ways to differentiate cells down the kidney lineage.