Dr. Ronald J. Falk, chair of the department of medicine at the University of North Carolina and director of the UNC Kidney Center, was honored with the John P. Peters Award by the recent American Society of Nephrology (ASN) for his outstanding contributions to both research and patient care in kidney disease.
The award was established in 1983 and is named after Peters, who was the chief of metabolic division in the department of medicine at Yale University from 1922-1955.
Falk holds the Nan and Hugh Cullman Eminent Professorship in Nephrology at UNC, and has been active with the ASN since joining the society in 1995. He has served on the ASN council and was the president of ASN from 2011-12. He has also served on many ASN committees and editorial boards.
His research has been focused on immune-mediated kidney diseases, in particular glomerulonephritis. He is studying ANCA glomerulonephritis and small vessel vasculitis both from a clinical perspective and through basic science, which involves conducting experiments in laboratories.
Specifically, Falk wants to better understand the cause of ANCA necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis, a condition where the kidney filtering units (glomeruli) start dying and abnormal proliferation of the layers surrounding the glomeruli (glomerular crescents) is observed.
He participates in a research group that has developed new approaches to questions about nephrology, autoimmunity, inflammation, and the basic biology of neutrophils and monocytes, two immune cell types involved in kidney inflammation.
Falk is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, in addition to being a fellow of ASN.
ASN is a society whose goal is to prevent, treat and cure kidney disease. According to a press release, the ASN honored four other leaders, in addition to Falk, for their efforts to better treat kidney disease at ASN Kidney Week 2017, which was held Oct. 31–Nov. 5 in New Orleans.