Research symposium highlights applications of Na/K-ATPase signaling

The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine brought together more than 50 researchers and clinician scientists from five institutions to virtually discuss recent innovations and research related to Na/K-ATPase signaling during the Second Annual Xie Memorial Research Symposium.

The two-day event, held Oct. 26 and 27, featured online presentations and panel discussion from scientists from Kansas University Medical Center, Marshall University, Medical College of Wisconsin, the National Institutes of Health, New York Medical College and the University of Toledo. Centered around the theme of the Na/K-ATPase scaffolding function in health and disease, experts discussed a range of topics that included natural and synthetic modulators of Na/K-ATPase scaffolding function; novel preclinical and clinical insights in renal, vascular and metabolic disease; and genetic approaches in mammalian cells and model organisms.

The annual symposium honors the scientific achievements of Zijian Xie, Ph.D., and his discovery of the scaffolding/signaling function of the Na/K-ATPase pump, a significant research finding that has had tremendous applications in both biology and medicine. Xie served as director of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR) and a professor in the department of biomedical sciences at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine from 2013 until his death in January 2020.

“The memory of Zijian Xie and his tireless efforts to advance our understanding of the true biological function of the Na/K-ATPase protein complex brought basic scientists and clinicians together to discuss innovative concepts, novel research approaches, and translational insight,” said Sandrine V. Pierre, Ph.D., associate scientific director and interim director of MIIR and the symposium’s organizer. “Clearly, Dr. Xie’s scientific legacy lives on.”

In addition to the research presentations, Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert, Ph.D., and School of Medicine Dean Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., virtually presented the honorary degree of Doctor of Science to Maurice A. Mufson, M.D., during the symposium. Mufson, a professor of medicine emeritus and chairman emeritus for the department of medicine, has made numerous contributions to the field of medicine as a clinician and scholar; worked tirelessly to educate and train generations of physicians; and has been pivotal in the success of the School of Medicine.