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Southern Society for Clinical Investigation Nephrology Young Investigators’ Forum

      The 19th Annual Southeastern Regional Nephrology Young Investigators’ Forum (NYIF), sponsored by the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation with generous support from an educational grant from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, was held February 12, 2020, in New Orleans, LA. The NYIF served as a precourse to the Annual Southern Regional and/or Southern Society for Clinical Investigation Meetings, which occurred February 13-15, 2020.
      Postdoctoral fellow trainees in nephrology programs throughout the Southeast were invited to present their research at the NYIF, which continued in the pattern of previous meetings with all of the presentations representing superior quality research. This year, 16 fellows representing 9 academic medical centers in 8 states (Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana and Virginia) were selected to participate. The research presentations were divided into basic and clinical research categories with the morning devoted to clinical research presentations and the afternoon program dedicated to basic science talks. We had 8 preclinical abstracts and 8 clinical and/or translational abstracts. All those present contributed to a lively and constructive question-and-answer session following each of the presentations.
      The event was initiated with a particularly excellent and relevant lecture entitled “Renal Pathophysiology: A Bridge to an Academic Career” presented by David W. Ploth, MD, Distinguished University Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Ploth's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Ploth elegantly described his illustrious career, emphasizing critical junctures in his life that affected him and how he coped with the decisions he entertained. The young researchers who are initiating their careers were appreciative of the advice he provided.
      Subsequent presenters all performed at a very high level, and their knowledge of their area of research and the background literature was impressive. Similarly, their ability to address wide-ranging and probing questions from the audience was equally impressive. This year's program, as with past programs, continued to reflect the superior investigative talent in nephrology training programs in the Southeast.
      This year, awards were presented to the four top-rated presentations in each of the Clinical Science and Basic Science categories. An alternate was also selected in each category. The winners advanced to the National NYIF Forum that will be held in conjunction with the 2020 Spring National Kidney Foundation Clinical Meeting. This year's award winners are listed below.

      Basic Science Research Awardees

      Tabled 1
      First Place: Jin Wei, PhDSecond Place: Fabian M. Bock, MD, PhD
      University of South FloridaVanderbilt University Medical Center
      Third Place: Brian Czaya, BScFourth Place: Paramita Pati, PhD
      University of Alabama at BirminghamUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
      Alternate: Jie Zhang, PhD
      University of South Florida


      Tabled 1
      First Place: Justin D. Sprick, PhDSecond Place: Matthew R. Sinclair, MD
      Emory UniversityDuke University
      Third Place: Ajai S. Rajabalan, MDFourth Place: Dinushika Mohottige, MD, MPH
      Emory UniversityDuke University
      Alternate: Hannah Gardner, MD
      University of Alabama at Birmingham
      The value of this NYIF for the trainee participants is extraordinary. This unique setting provides a forum where fellows can present original research orally to a small group of peers. Often this is the first extramural opportunity for the trainee to present his and/or her work at a formal meeting. This setting provides a novel, nonthreatening environment for presentation and discussion for fellows and among fellows from different training programs in the region. There are no other meeting venues or environments that allow this high level of oral presentation and personal interaction for this level of training. Between and after sessions, trainees are afforded the extraordinary opportunity to interact personally with their peer group of researcher-trainees from the region and nationally if selected to advance to the national meeting. They also interact with a panel of judges who comprise a group of senior nephrologists and program leaders in the Southeast. They have the opportunity to network with other trainees in the region and nationally. It should also be noted that a number of trainee presenters at earlier NYIF programs have graduated to become our new young academic faculty for a number of nephrology programs in the Southeast and elsewhere.
      Participants uniformly commented that this type of forum is strongly needed by the community and offered a great opportunity for networking. Many of the trainees spontaneously remarked that the meeting was a resounding success and an outstanding event for fellow participation. All recommended participation in this forum for future nephrology fellows.
      The presenters, parent institutions, and titles of their presentations follow.
      “Renal Pathophysiology: A Bridge to an Academic Career”
      David W. Ploth, MD
      Distinguished University Professor
      Medical University of South Carolina


      Fabian M. Bock, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
      Rac1 Regulates Renal Epithelial Integrity in Part Via Lipid Raft Dependent Pak1 Induction
      Brian Czaya, BSc, University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Hyperphosphatemia Contributes to Inflammation and Iron Dysregulation in Models of Normal and Impaired Renal Function
      Paramita Pati, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Time Restricted Feeding to the Active Period Reduces Vascular Disease and Oxidative Stress in Mice on a Chronic High Fat Diet
      Megan K. Rhoads, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Food Availability Affects Diurnal Mean Blood Pressures in Rats
      Vikram Sabapathy, PhD, University of Virginia
      Delineating Role of ST2/IL-33 Axis in Kidney Injury
      Rohit Upadhyay, PhD, Tulane University School of Medicine
      Effect of Bortezomib on Proximal Tubule Cells Exposed with Urinary Free Light Chains Isolated from Multiple Myeloma Patients
      Jin Wei, PhD, University of South Florida
      Macula Densa Relaxin Receptor 1 in Normal Pregnancy and Preeclampsia
      Jie Zhang, PhD, University of South Florida
      Macula Densa SGLT1-NOS1-Tubuloglomerular Feedback Pathway, a New Mechanism for the Sex Differences in Diabetic Glomerular Hyperfiltration and Kidney Injury


      Hannah Gardner, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Viruses, Rhabdo, and AKI… Oh My!
      Cesar Hernandez-Arroyo, MD, Ochsner Medical Center
      Improvement in Kidney Function After Discontinuation of Fenofibrate in Outpatient Nephrology Consultation for Chronic Kidney Disease
      Dinushika Mohottige, MD, MPH, Duke University
      A Tale of Two Neighborhoods: Association of Neighborhood-Level Social and Environmental Contexts With High CKD Prevalence
      Sayna Norouzi, MD, Baylor College of Medicine
      Delayed Nocturnal Dipping in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease
      Ajai S. Rajabalan, MD, Emory University
      High Ultrafiltration Rate In-Center Hemodialysis Patients – A Single Center Experience
      Arun Rajasekaran, MD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Effect of Lactated Ringer's Solution Use on Serum Potassium in Advanced Kidney Disease
      Matthew R. Sinclair, MD, Duke University
      Differences in Clinical Phenotype and Outcomes in Hemodialysis-Dependent Patients in the Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia Group Prospective Cohort Study (SABG-PCS)
      Justin D. Sprick, PhD, Emory University
      Aerobic Exercise Training Reduces Blood Pressure and Improves Endothelial Function in Chronic Kidney Disease