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ISN Announces Important  Leadership Changes for 2005



Letter from the President 

BRUSSELS (December 13, 2004)

The Executive Committee and the Council of the International Society of Nephrology  are pleased to inform you of a number of important and exciting changes which concern ISN?s future in terms of programs, activities and leadership that will take place in the coming year.


Secretary General

After six highly successful years, Dr. Rashad Barsoum?s (Cairo, Egypt) term as Secretary General and Chair of the ISN Fellowship Committee will come to an end during the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in Singapore in June 2005.


Under Rashad?s leadership, the Society has seen many important changes. He has been instrumental in the successful move to professional management and, in particular, the ISN Fellowship Program has become a major aspect of our important capacity building efforts under his chairmanship. As of today, ISN has provided over 360 Fellowships, a truly remarkable accomplishment.


As Rashad is preparing to hand over his responsibilities, we are delighted to be able to welcome Dr. John Feehally from Leicester, UK as his successor for a six-year term. John, who has been a Councilor of the ISN since 2003, brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the job and will be an excellent new Secretary General and Fellowship Committee Chair.


Kidney International


Dr. Saulo Klahr (St. Louis,


USA)  has been at the helm of our prestigious journal since 1997. During his tenure, Saulo has been able to advance

Kidney International

?s reputation as a high quality publication, turning it into one of the main engines of ISN?s growth and development. But all good things must come to an end, regrettably, and Saulo?s term ends in December 2005.


However, after a careful selection process, we are very pleased and honored to announce the appointment of Dr.Qais Al-Awqati of




New York

as Dr. Klahr?s successor. Qais will assume editorial responsibilities commencing with the January 2006 issue of




He comes to the important position of



with the highest credentials and a wealth of experience, for example he has most recently been serving as the Deputy Editor of the prestigious

Journal of Clinical Investigation.

We are very pleased to have found a new Editor who will continue Saulo?s legacy in further developing our flagship journal.


Look out for an interview with Qais Al-Awqati in an upcoming issue of

ISN news

which will provide you with insight to the man and his vision for the future of our journal.


Commission for the Global Advancement of Nephrology: COMGAN

ISN?s global outreach program, led by Dr. John Dirks (Toronto, Canada) as Chairman of COMGAN, has been an unsurpassed success over the past decade. Our global network now spans the entire world, and there is hardly a country where ISN-COMGAN and related programs, such as our Fellowship and Library Enhancement programs, have not contributed significantly to local capacity building. After 10 years of impressive accomplishment and service, based on the charisma of a real diplomat, Dr. Dirks? term will end on December 31, 2005. After a six-month transition period starting January 1, 2005, his coordinating role in COMGAN will be taken over by Jan Weening as Immediate Past President of ISN and the various programs will be managed by the committees listed below.

To ensure that ISN-COMGAN will continue its vital global outreach as well as develop further capacity building activities, ISN is pleased to announce a new structure, based on the review and recommendations of a Committee led by Dr. Robert Schrier.


While John is going to continue to oversee the CMEs already planned until December 2005, ISN-COMGAN activities and planning for 2006 under the new cabinet structure, as proposed by John Dirks, comprising the following three dedicated committees, will start its operations in July 2006:

  • The CME program, to be chaired by Dr. Norbert Lameire of Gent, Belgium

  • The Renal Sister Centers, to be chaired by Dr. Rashad Barsoum

  •  The Fellowship and ISN Visiting Scholars programs, chaired by the new Secretary-General Dr. John Feehally.


Close coordination will occur between the three major COMGAN committees and the already functioning regional sub-committees, the Research Committee (which will continue to be chaired by Giuseppe Remuzzi from Bergamo,Italy ), and other expert committees on subspecialty representation, education and informatics.Overall guidance for the new COMGAN structure will be the responsibility of ISN?s immediate Past President.


This cabinet structure allows the ISN leadership to preserve COMGAN as an entity with increased manpower,  financial resources, and synergies, and therefore further advance ISN?s global outreach activities for the coming years. A particular emphasis will be given to global programs on preventive medicine for which collaboration with sister societies and organizations, such as the WHO, will be intensified.


The 2005-2007 Council

For the new Council, which will begin its term in June 2005, 8 positions are open for election: 3 in North America, 1 in Europe, 2 in Asia, 1 in Africa and 1 in Latin America. Using a web-based electronic voting system (available as of March 2005), ISN members will be able to cast their vote online, or by attending the ISN voting booth at the WCN in Singapore. We encourage you to actively participate in these important elections. Also in Singapore, during the Council meeting, the present Council will elect the Society?s new Vice President, while Dr. William G. Couser of Seattle, USA and Dr. Eberhard Ritz from Heidelberg, Germany will ascend to the positions of President 2005-2007 and President-Elect 2005-2007 respectively.


We hope that all of you share our excitement about the great opportunities ahead for the ISN. While we have to prepare to say farewell to some of our most distinguished leaders, who have been crucial to the development of our organization, we are very excited to welcome highly qualified and equally committed new leaders who will undoubtedly contribute their share to ISN?s further growth and success.


We would welcome your feedback and comments and look forward to seeing all of you at ISN?s World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) 2005 in June in Singapore .


On behalf of ISN?s Executive Committee and Council,


Jan J. Weening


International Society of Nephrology

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