Professor Robert Atkins–President Elect of the ISN


S E P T E M B E R  I S S U E   •   2 0 0 1

An official publication of the International Society of Nephrology

Andrew J. Rees, MD

Bob Atkins will succeed Tom Andreoli as President of the ISN in October
at the World Congress of Nephrology in San Francisco. Professor Atkins is Director of the
Department of Nephrology at Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne and is an Honorary
Professor of Medicine at Monash University and will be the second Australian to lead the
ISN (Pricilla Kincaid Smith was President from 1972 until 1975). Professor Atkins has
already made an enormous contribution to the ISN. He was an elected Council Member from
1984 to 1993, President of the 1997 International Congress of Nephrology in Sydney,
Australia, Vice-President of the ISN from 1997—1999, and president-elect from 1999
until now. He has served on the Pacific section of COMGAN and chaired its delegation to
Indonesia in 1996. He is also a past President of both the Australian & New Zealand
and the Asian Pacific Societies of Nephrology.

Bob Atkins was born in Sydney and educated in Melbourne where he
completed his medical studies in 1967. Initial periods of clinical training in Melbourne
and in London gave him a lifelong commitment to nephrology and to improving the treatment
of patients with renal disease. The latter is particularly evident in his research
training in which he sought to work in units throughout the world that were at the
absolute forefront of developments. As a result, he had successive periods training in
clinical and immunological aspects of transplantation with Ben Eiseman and Tom Starzl in
Denver, chronic hemodialysis with Belding Scribner, and peritoneal dialysis with Henry
Tenckhoff in Seattle and the metabolic aspects of uraemia with Charles Mion in
Montpellier. He then returned to basic research in cellular immunology with Bill Ford and
Jim Gowans in Oxford in 1971. The experience resulted in a series of papers in the premier
scientific and clinical journals.

Prof. Atkins returned to Melbourne in 1972 to be the inaugural Director
of Nephrology at Prince Henry’s Hospital and Monash University where he has remained.
Since then, his unit has made important contributions to the development of treatments for
chronic renal failure and to understanding the diseases that cause it. Perhaps most
important of all has been his role in understanding the importance of macrophages in the
development of renal injury. Although macrophages had been identified by electron
microscopy in kidneys of patients with severe glomerulonephritis, it was Atkins and his
colleagues who devised methods for quantifying the degree of infiltration in different
types of nephritis and developing experimental models to study their role in renal injury.
This work completely changed the way renal injury was viewed and is of lasting importance,
not least because it provides the foundation for novel treatments. He was awarded a
Doctorate of Science in 1993 by Monash University for his contribution on “Immune
Mechanisms in Kidney Disease.”

There can be few physicians with as broad an experience of nephrology
and renal research throughout the world as Professor Atkins. Successive Presidents have
made the ISN into a truly international organization contributing to the development of
nephrology and the advancement of the care of patients with renal disease globally. Bob
Atkins is a true successor to these and we look forward to the inauguration of his
Presidency later this year. This issue of ISN News contains an interview with him
in which he defines his goals.  ISN


From the Editor

Andrew Rees

Much of ISN News this month focuses on the World Congress of Nephrology
in San Francisco and the events that take place there. Tom Andreoli passes the presidency
of the ISN to Bob Atkins, who sets out his goals for the future of the society in this
issue. Before concentrating on the future, we need to remember some of the changes that
have taken place during Dr. Andreoli’s highly successful term of office, not least of
which are the massive expansion of COMGAN activities and the newly modernized ISN
constitution, which will be voted on in San Francisco. Trivial by comparison, but just as
important to me, ISN News was founded to give members greater insight into the work of the
ISN. Tom Andreoli has one final task to perform before he hands over the presidency to Bob
Atkins, presiding over the World Congress of Nephrology. It will be the first time the ISN
and the ASN have met jointly. It promises to be a real feast covering all aspects of
nephrology and the science that underpins it. The biennial World Congress is one of the
most effective ways to update oneself about the latest developments in nephrology. The
Cochrane Collaboration is another. The Collaboration takes its name from a British
Epidemiologist, Archie Cochrane, who pioneered the use of systematic reviews of randomized
controlled trials. The Cochrane Collaboration was founded in 1993 to evaluate and to
perform systemic reviews of clinical trials, and its work on renal disease started in
1997. This valuable work is described by Jonathan Craig in this issue, and will also be on
show in San Francisco – see you there!  ISN


News from the Cochrane Renal Group

Jonathan Craig

The Cochrane Collaboration – global and renal: Many
members of the ISN will already be aware of the Collaboration. For those who are not, the
Cochrane Collaboration comprises an international group of clinicians, researchers and
consumers, who develop and regularly update systematic reviews of evidence on health
interventions from randomized controlled trials. These systematic reviews are available
electronically through the Cochrane Library, which currently has over 1000 reviews and
290,000 trials. Cochrane reviews are available through MEDLINE and at

The Collaboration is made up of about 50 review groups, which are
formed along specialty lines. Some groups such as those on pregnancy and child birth,
perinatal and stroke are well established; the renal group is in its infancy. It was
formed in 1997 with Lyon, France the editorial base, and Denis Fouque the founding
coordinating editor. In May 2000 it moved to Sydney Australia with the kind support of the
Australian Kidney Foundation and the Australian & New Zealand Society of Nephrology.

The Cochrane Renal Group: Like all Cochrane review
groups, the Renal Group is made up of members (the writers of reviews, editors and
referees of reviews) and the editorial base. The editorial base is made up of the review
group coordinator (Narelle Willis [Australia]), the trials search coordinators (Sandrine
Drury [France]) and Ruth Mitchell [Australia]) and the coordinating editor (Jonathan Craig
[Australia]). To date there are about 130 active reviewers and referees from 21 countries
who are working on 55 topics, with about 8 completed reviews in the library. Editors are
Cecile Couchoud (France), Denis Fouque (France), Elisabeth Hodson (Australia), Alison
McLeod (UK), Paul Roderick (UK), Guiseppe Remuzzi (Italy), and Teut Risler (Germany).

We are working towards the following goals:

• Developing a complete and clean register of all randomized controlled trials,
which is freely accessible, and easily searched (this may contain over 5,000 trials)

• Developing an education and support program for reviewers that includes
interactive workshops, which provide instruction in literature searching, trial analysis
and systematic review methods.

• Providing suitable systematic review projects and training for advanced trainees

• Providing assistance to future trial groups by identifying what still needs to
be done and how it can be done better.

• Having all trials summarized into quality systematic reviews.

What can you do? You can do reviews, referee reviews,
encourage your colleagues to do reviews, notify us of unpublished trials that you know
about, let us know of your particular renal interests, come to our (free) workshops, or
use our reviews as they come on line. Please contact us at [email protected] or check our
website (to be launched in mid-2001 and linked to the ISN website) at

The World Congress of Nephrology and the Cochrane Renal Group:
For those interested in learning more about the Cochrane Renal Group we are holding a
lunch-time meeting on the 16th October from 12—1pm. A limited number of free copies
of the CD-ROM version of the nephrology trials register will be available from the Amgen
booth during the meeting.  ISN

Jonathan Craig is
Coordinating Editor for The Cochrane Renal Group.


Interview With the Next President of the ISN

Professor Bob Atkins will be inaugurated as the next ISN president
during the World Congress of Nephrology in San Francisco in October 2001. The accompanying
profile shows the enormous experience he will bring to the job, and in this interview with
Andy Rees, he discusses his vision for the society.


Andrew Rees: You’ve been associated with the ISN for
many years, and have occupied some of its most senior positions. Tell us how it all
started, and what was the first talk you gave to the ISN?

Robert Atkins: My first ISN abstract was entitled
“Studies on Culture of Isolated Normal and Diseased Kidneys”, and I presented it
at the ISN Congress in Florence in 1975. I remember the elegant Italian setting as being
much more impressive than my talk.

AR: And what about invited lectures?

RA: My first invited plenary lecture to the society was at
the 1990 meeting in Tokyo. Its theme was the “Pathogenesis of Glomerulonephritis
— 1990.” I remember putting a large amount of effort into the lecture as it was
a “state-of-the-art” presentation and I considered it a great honor to be asked.

AR: Turning now to the ISN itself. It has expanded
enormously since very small beginnings and undergone great change. How would you
characterize the changes?

RA: The major change has been one of progressive
“globalization.” The ISN has progressively evolved over the past 40 years to a
truly international and cosmopolitan organization. It has reached out in every area of the
world and is now particularly concentrating its efforts to develop nephrology in emerging

AR: And what of the future? How do you want to see the ISN
develop during the course of your presidency?

RA: My main objective will be to continue the Society’s
present momentum for global involvement, particularly in the developing world. The
challenge will be to devise strategies through which our activities can continue to be
implemented effectively. The society’s current ambitions and structures are
outgrowing our ability to manage and finance our activities. Most of what has been
achieved has depended on the goodwill, time, and the expertise of our members. This makes
us unique, but also vulnerable. We must develop partnerships and alliances if we are to
continue to develop – not only with other societies but with international
institutions such as WHO, World Bank, governments, other aid groups. The development of
such alliances will be the central thrust of my term of office.

AR: Over the past decade, the ISN has made great efforts to
facilitate the development of nephrology throughout the world, and it has now begun to
develop research partnerships across continents. What do you think the biggest challenges
are for nephrologists over the next decade?

RA: In my view, the most important clinical challenge
currently facing nephrologists is developing strategies to prevent the progression of
renal disease, in both the emerging and developed countries. These will need to be founded
on robust epidemiological studies to recognize early renal disease and will require
effective preventative strategies to be put in place. This involves public health
measures, public and medical education and scientific advances into more specific
therapies with which to target disease.

AR: And is there a particular disease that will need to be

RA: Yes – The emerging pandemic of Type II diabetes.
Currently it effects affects some 200 million people Worldwide, one third of whom will
develop progressive nephropathy and so it is obviously an important area to address.
Hence, an important example of our partnership endeavours is one with the International
Diabetes Federation to target the diabetes pandemic. It will take all our scientific,
communication (particularly web based), and educational skills in order to prevent, or at
least retard, progressive diabetic renal disease. I believe our international presence,
along with our good will and our membership dedication can make a real difference to renal
disease worldwide.

AR: Bob, thank you very much. We all wish you a highly
successful and very enjoyable term as president. isn


From the Secretary-General’s Office

Rashad Barsoum, MD, FRCP, FRCPE

Soha Sobhy Joins the Crew: Vivi Michel, who until recently was the
Secretary-General Office Assistant in Cairo has married Galil Fahmy and moved permanently
to Canada. Her position is now taken by Dr. Soha Sobhy, a 1993 graduate of the School of
Pharmacy, Cairo University, who decided to change her career into the administrative
arena. Before taking the full responsibility of her new office, Soha spent several weeks
training with Vivi, and participated in the Executive Retreat in Cairo last February.

ISN Council Ballot Open: The ballot for 9 incoming council members is
now open. ISN members who have paid their dues for 2001 are eligible to vote. You are
encouraged to vote electronically via the Internet. It is very simple: just have ready
your ID and VIN (Voting Identification Number), which appear above your name on the
address label that goes with Kidney International from
the April 2001 issue onwards. Visit the ISN website ( and follow the
instructions. Your ID and VIN can also be obtained by contacting the permanent secretary
in Amsterdam ([email protected]). You can also vote in the traditional way by mail or
fax using the individual ballot sheets (sent out with the April issue of KI). Last minute voting will be permitted from
9:00am—5:00pm on October 14, at the ISN booth which will be located in front of Hall
E in the Moscone Convention Center (WCN venue) in San Francisco.

Travel Grants for WCN: Over 400 travel grant applications were received
from young nephrologists wishing to attend the World Congress of Nephrology in San
Francisco. Grants of one thousand dollars US were awarded to 150 applicants from 58
countries and 5 continents (see the ISN website: One hundred and
twenty of these grants were provided by ISN and 30 by ASN, of which 10 were assigned to
the Latin American Society of Nephrology and Hypertension (SLANH). Priority in selection
was given to nephrologists from the developing world who submitted abstracts for the
meeting, ISN fellows, and members of the Renal Sister Center Program.

Special Poster Session for ISN Fellows at the World Congress: Seventy
ISN fellows will display their posters in the World Congress of Nephrology twice: first by
category in the general display area, then in a special ceremonial session where the best
three abstracts will be honored through the generous contribution of Fresenius. This event
is scheduled from 10:00am—12:00pm on Tuesday, October 16, in the Poster Exhibit Hall
A, B, C. Senior members of ISN and ASN will be invited, in addition to home and host
mentors of participating fellows, members of the ISN Fellowship Committee and sponsors of
the program. This scientific/social session will replace the traditional Fellows reception
in previous International Congresses of Nephrology.

Visit the ISN Booth in San Francisco: ISN has a booth in front of Hall
E in the Moscone Convention Center to provide general information, directory, videos and
posters which display the activities of various ISN commissions.  ISN


Outstanding Program for the World Congress

Andrew J. Rees, MD

The program committee, chaired by Qais Al-Awqati with Steve Hebert as
Vice-Chair, has completed the extraordinary and complex task of organizing the scientific
program for the World Congress. The result is a “Renal Week” that is both
wide-ranging and very exciting, offering something for everyone. The program ranges from
clinical updates and literature reviews, to symposia and posters on the latest scientific
developments. The “Renal Week” runs from October 10—17. It opens with four
days of educational courses and culminates in the World Congress itself, which starts with
an Opening Ceremony in the Moscone Center, followed by a reception in the Yerba Buena

The educational courses concentrate on controversial and difficult
clinical topics, and bring together a truly international faculty of just under 200
experts drawn from all five continents. There is the traditional Nephrology Update in
Spanish (October 10—11), and a choice of eight two-day courses (October 12—13).
These include: peritoneal dialysis and continuous replacement therapy, longitudinal
studies in diabetic kidney disease, improving cardiovascular survival in renal disease,
glomerulonephritis, intraventional nephrology, histopathology of the kidney, and renal
transplantation. On Saturday, October 13, there are three additional one-day courses on
continuing professional development, renal registries, and end-of-life care in nephrology.
All of the courses finish in time for delegates to attend the Opening Ceremony in the
Moscone Center.

Conferences as large as the World Congress are often overwhelming and
leave attendees perpetually finding that they have just missed something they really
wanted to hear. The program committee has done a marvelous job in simplifying things.
First, it has produced “Pathways” through the Congress, which highlight relevant
sessions for those with particular interests (see box). Second, it has arranged the three
and a half days of scientific discussion so that each day follows a standard format. The
day starts between 8 and 9:45am, with a plenary session devoted to awards for outstanding
achievements, and to state-of-the-art lectures. These sessions are followed (between 10am
and noon) by a choice between poster sessions or clinical nephrology conferences focused
on important practical issues. Between 1:30 and 3:30pm, attendees may choose from 12
different basic or clinical science symposia designed to focus on emerging and rapidly
changing areas of science. Each afternoon (from 5:30—6:00pm) offers attendees a
choice between a second poster session followed by a mini lecture, or another clinical
nephrology conference.

In a short piece like this it is impossible to convey the breadth of
topics to be covered during the World Congress. Suffice it to say there are symposia or
clinical conferences on just about every important aspect of nephrology of concern to
nephrologists today. The different fora provide numerous opportunities for nephrologists
to discuss practical aspects of current practice, and to consider and gain insight into
the underlying biology of renal disease. The full range of the program is shown on the
Renal Week web site (

Ordinarily, it would be wrong to single out particular symposia for
special mention. But two of the basic science symposia (both offered on Sunday, October
14) defy this rule. Both are dedicated to seminal figures in nephrology, whose careers
were sadly cut short. The first is on the Pathology of Vascular Endothelium and is in
memory of Ramzi Contran, who together with his group pioneered the study of endothelium in
renal disease process. The second is on Urinary Concentrating Ability, and is a tribute to
Rainer Greger, whose group made enormous contributions to integrating molecular data with
the function of the whole kidney. These symposia recognize two truly outstanding talents,
and promise to add a personal dimension to the outstanding science being presented.

Lastly, the science doesn’t end when the World Congress closes in
San Francisco. An official Satellite Meeting is being held in Santa Fe, New Mexico,
October 18—20, on the hugely important topic of “Renal Disease in Racial and
Ethnic Minority Groups.” The program director for this meeting is Dr. David Pugsley
([email protected]). Full details of the satellite meeting can be found on the
ISN website (  ISN

The joint ASN/ISN program committee has developed “pathways” to help
attendees facilitate the program, including:

Pathways Throughout the World Congress

Acute Renal Failure
Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Chronic Renal Disease
Hypertension and Cardiovascular
Signaling (Cell Biology)


Reports from the Regions

Ignatius Cheng

Editor’s Note–In
this, his continuing series of Reports from the Regions, Ignatius Cheng describes recent
activities of the Asian Pacific Society. His report illustrates the vigor of the society
and its very active educational program, as well as exciting developments with the
of Nephrology.

The Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology (APSN)

The APSN held its 8th Congress in Taipei from March 26 to 30, 2000.
Sixty-one speakers from the Asian Pacific region and from the international community were
invited to contribute to 6 plenary lectures: 1 memorial lecture (in memory of Professor
Ross Bailey), 12 symposia, and 7 CME workshops, in addition to oral free communications
and poster presentations. A total of 201 abstracts were received for presentation at the
Congress and office bearers were elected (see below).

The Journal of Nephrology is
now the official journal of the APSN having been taken over by the APSN last year from its
previous owners Blackwell. The APSN has been helped in this venture by financial support
from regional nephrology societies, including the Australian & New Zealand Society
(ANZSN), the Japanese Society (JSN), the Hong Kong Society (HKSN) and the Taiwanese
Society (TSN). All members of the ANZSN are now regular subscribers to the journal and it
is the ultimate goal of the APSN that similar arrangements can also be established with
other regional societies so that Journal of Nephrology
can become the premier nephrology journal of the Asian Pacific region. Initially, there
will be 4 issues of the journal per year, with the objective of increasing to 6 per year
in the near future. Those interested may visit the journal home page at

The APSN co-sponsor and the Advanced Course in Nephrology held in
conjunction with the 13th Asian Colloquium of Nephrology in Bali, Indonesia from November
21 to 25, 2000. Regional societies who would like to enlist the help of the APSN in
organising CME programmes are encouraged to contact Dr. Morad (fax: 03 2905418; email
[email protected]).

The 9th Congress of the APSN will be held in Pattya, Thailand from
February 16 to 20, 2003 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Visith Sitprija (fax: 662 254 0212;
email [email protected]). This will be followed by a combined congress for the APSN
and ISN in Singapore in 2005. The 11th Congress will be held in Malaysia in 2008.  ISN

APSN Officers

President • Dr. Myung Jae Kim (Korea)
President-Elect • Dr. Hideto Sakai (Japan)
Past-President • Dr. Visith Sitprija (Thailand)
Secretary-General • Dr. Ignatius KP Cheng (Hong Kong)
Honorary Treasurer • Dr. Evan Lee (Singapore)
Chief Editor of Nephrology • Dr. Gavin Becker (Australia)
Chairman of the Nominations Committee • Dr. Anthony Clarkson (Australia)
Chairman of the CME Committee • Dr. Zaki Morad (Malaysia)

New ISN Fellows

Intense competition for ISN Fellowships continues, and so
congratulations to the 18 nephrologists from all over the World who were recently awarded
fellowships. Again our thanks go to the sponsors who continue to support the program.

For information or applications forms for the Fellowship Training
Awards, please contact the Secretary General, Dr. Rashad Barsoum or his assistant Dr. Soha
Sobhy directly. Their contact details are as follows:

The Cairo Kidney Center
3 Hussein El-Memar Street, Antikhana
PO Box 91, Bab-El-Louk
11513 Cairo, Egypt
Email: [email protected]
Phone/Fax: +20 2 579 0267

Short-Term Fellowships





A Kulla




JL Kiyiapi


South Africa


R Erkoc


United States


D Ljubanovic


United States


Standard Fellowships





JR Rathod


United Kingdom


S Gupta


United Kingdom


IA Dulau-Florea




M Koc


United States


MBV Bhimaraj


New Zealand


W Ismail




AKH Ahamed


United Kingdom


IH Bazzal




RD Lanerolle

Sri Lanka

United Kingdom


M Adamczak




AY Margaryan


United States


L Gang


United States

Kirin Brewery (Japan)

MT Sezer


United States



Make Your Plans Today for the
2001 ASN/ISN World Congress of Nephrology

Cynthia Hlasney

Nearly 14,000 attendees will converge on San Francisco, California, USA
for the premier meeting of the nephrology community. The ASN/ISN World Congress of
Nephrology begins on October 13 with the Opening Ceremony, immediately following the
Postgraduate Education Courses (Oct. 10—13). “The combined ASN and ISN Program
Committee has put together an outstanding program that brings together the very best in
basic, clinical and translational research,” said Dr. Steven C. Hebert, Program
Committee Co-Chair. “This is a very exciting meeting in a wonderful venue.”

The Congress features three plenary session speakers addressing current
issues that affect researchers, physicians and patients. C. Ronald Kahn, MD, Joselin
Diabetes Center, presents the ISN’s Donald W. Seldin lecture on, “Knockout
Mice–Challenging Our Concepts About Glucose Homeostasis and the Pathogenesis of
Diabetes Mellitus.” William Evans, MD, St Jude’s Children’s Research
Hospital, addresses the congress on, “Pharmacogenomics: Translating Functional
Genomics into Rational Therapeutics.” John Funder, Baker Medical Research Institute
presents this year’s Claude Amiel Lecture. Dr. Funder focuses on, “Aldosterone,
Cardiac Fibrosis and Heart Failure.”

Nephrologists from countries around the world submitted more than 4,900
abstracts, exceeding the ASN’s 2000 Renal Week by more than 1,000. More than 60
Scientific, Clinical Nephrology and Basic Science symposia presented over five days will
reveal the latest scientific discoveries and highlight future research efforts.

Convenient exhibit hall hours afford attendees the opportunity to
network with colleagues and discuss innovations in the nephrology industry. More than 150
international exhibitors are expected at the state-of-the-art Moscone Center, San
Francisco’s renowned conference center.

San Francisco attracts more than 16 million visitors, convention
attendees and business travelers annually. As the fifth largest metropolis in the United
States, San Francisco’s cultural attractions, restaurants and famous sites make it a
unique and vibrant host for the 2001 ASN/ISN World Congress of Nephrology.

Registration for the World Congress of Nephrology is now open! Members
of the ASN and ISN receive discounted registration fees.

For the latest information on the WCN, including up-to-date daily
schedules and speaker information, or to register online, visit or call
+1 /202 367-1190.  ISN

Cynthia Hlasney is Senior
Marketing & Communications Associate at Smith, Bucklin & Associates (Marketing and
Communications Associate for the ASN)


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