David Weiner, MD
Co-holder, C. Craig and Audrae Tisher Chair in Nephrology, University of Florida, US. Professor of Medicine and Physiology and Functional Genomics, Division of Nephrology, Hypertension & Renal Transplantation; Chief, Nephrology and Hypertension Section, NF/SGVHS.
David Weiner's primary research interests involve examining the mechanisms and regulation of renal ammonia metabolism and transport. Ammonia plays a central role in acid-base homeostasis, as it is the primary component of basal net acid excretion and changes in ammonia excretion comprise almost 90% of the renal response to acid-base alterations. Renal ammonia transport has traditionally been believed to involve "ammonium (NH4+) trapping" and diffusive NH3 movement. David Weiner's laboratory examines the specific mechanisms of renal NH3 movement, and has shown that, in contrast to previously thought models, that NH3 transport involves specific proteins, namely, Rh glycoproteins. These proteins are widely expressed in ammonia transporting tissues, and Dr. Weiner's studies, using a variety of in vivo and in vitro models, including transgenic animal models utilizing cell-specific gene deletion, have shown the central role of these proteins in renal ammonia, and thereby acid-base, homeostasis.
David Weiner's major clinical interests involve refractory hypertension, including specific expertise in primary hyperaldosteronism and renovascular hypertension, genetic causes of electrolyte disorders, such as Gitelman's and Bartters's syndrome, autosomal polycystic kidney disease, chronic kidney disease associated with organ transplantation (non-renal transplants, only). He also maintains an active practice in management of patients with chronic kidney disease of other etiologies.
Horst Schirra, PhD
My main research interest is the delicate interplay between protein structure, dynamics and folding with protein function - by itself and embedded in the context of the whole metabolism of a living organism. I study these relationships with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and a variety of other biochemical and biophysical techniques.
Horst Schirra's research interests extend from structural biology and protein folding to the applications of NMR-based metabonomics in clinical science and systems biology. Horst Schirra is an NMR spectroscopist with more than 15 years of experience in the technique. He received his basic research training in Germany and Switzerland. He received his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich (Switzerland), where he elucidated the solution structure of one of the major proteins catalysing protein folding in E.coli. In 1999, he was appointed Research Officer at the University of Queensland. At UQ his research focuses on plant defense proteins, in particular the interaction of plant proteinase inhibitors with insect proteinases. In 2005 he was awarded a prestigious Queensland Smart State Fellowship.
Horst Schirra additionally specialises in clinical science and systems biology to decipher the "metabolic fingerprints" of individuals with NMR spectroscopy, in order to develop novel diagnostic methods, as well as to understand the connection between genotype and phenotype on the level of systems biology.
Hans-Peter Marti, MD
Since 2011, I have been working as Chief of Department of Medicine at the Hospital of Solothurn that is linked to the University of Bern, Switzerland. Prior to this engagement, I was at the University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital), as Renal Consultant and Deputy Director of the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, as well as Director of the Transplant Centre. My activities as co-director of the Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) at the University of Bern were closely linked to these professional roles.
After passing the national examinations (MD) in Switzerland in 1982, I have completed my clinical and academic training in nephrology and internal medicine in Switzerland (Lucerne, Zurich and Bern), New Zealand (Dunedin and Christchurch), the US (San Francisco) and France (Paris). My academic research includes analysis of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP, that are members of the metzincin gene family) in inflammatory processes, the treatment of experimental glomerulonephritis with immunoliposomes through directed drug targeting as an innovative therapeutic approach, and the diagnostic use of microarrays for renal transplant pathologies. In the latter microarray studies we have described a transcriptomic classifier consisting of metzincins and related genes (MARGS) discriminating renal allograft biopsies with or without interstitial fibrosis / tubular atrophy (IF/TA). Subsequently, we have extended these analyses to non-transplant solid organs with fibrosis across species. Thus, our MARGS classifier represents a cross-organ and cross-species classifier of fibrotic conditions irrespective of etiology, supporting a common pathway of fibrotic conditions. This classifier may help to design a low density array (LDA) to diagnose and monitor fibrosis.
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