Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Congratulations Darwin (Not That Darwin)

Meeting fatigue has set in, and I am almost looking forward to the trip home tomorrow. Hot science still rules the Anaheim convention center, and there will be a tweet-up to celebrate the tweet-off tonight.


This morning I dragged myself to an 8am session because a friend, P. Darwin Bell, PhD, of the Medical University of South Carolina, gave it. 

The Gottschalk Distinguished Lectureship of the APS Renal Section is the highest award a physiologist can receive (unless the Nobel committee comes calling). We are talking scientific rock-star status. And I know this guy! I had to rouse my sorry butt out for this one.

Carl W. Gottschalk, the namesake of the lectureship, came from Virginia but accomplished his breakthroughs during 41 years as a faculty member in the College of Medicine at University of North Carolina. Although he started out to be a cardiologist, the kidney grabbed his attention. Using micropuncture, he studied urine concentrating mechanisms and developed the countercurrent multiplier theory.

These scientific contributions alone would warrant naming stuff for him; however, Gottschalk also worked for patients with kidney disease. In 1967 he chaired the government panel that guaranteed payment for dialysis and kidney transplantation, at the time novel therapies, via the Medicare program. Millions of patients, including my own, are living productive lives because of these efforts by Gottschalk.

Focusing on tubuloglomerular feedback during his career, Darwin has changed many views of this process. The field of patch-clamping amazes me, and the technical stuff Darwin performs sometimes seems like science fiction. Clamping the macula densa? A bioprobe to confirm ATP secretion? Wow. A PubMed search reveals 113 publications today, a number that will rise in the future.

So once again, congratulations to Dr. Bell for a well-deserved and well-delivered lecture.

By the way, don’t forget the tweet-up to celebrate the tweet-off between Executive Director of the APS Marty Frank and Dr. Isis, 10:30 tonight in the bar at the Anaheim Hilton. I will announce the official winner about 6pm via Twitter. Good luck to all!

1 comment:

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Darwin during a few social events while at MUSC and he is a kickass guy as well as a great scientist.