Internationally recognized kidney specialist and sodium pump researcher to speak as part of MIIR lecture series

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the world’s leading kidney authorities and researchers will be speaking next week at Marshall University.

Dr. Anita Aperia, professor of pediatrics at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and a former member of the Nobel Assembly, is widely recognized for her groundbreaking research contributions to medicine’s understanding of how the kidneys function in health and disease.

Her talk titled “The Physiological Function of Na+/K+-ATPase” will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, in Room 101 of the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center.

The free event is part of a series of public lectures hosted by the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research.

Research at MIIR is focused on Na+/K+-ATPase—a protein often referred to as the “sodium potassium pump” because it directs many cellular processes in the heart, kidney and other tissues. By studying how this cellular signaling occurs, the institute’s researchers are working to develop new treatments for cancer, heart and kidney disease.

A native of Sweden, Aperia graduated from the Karolinska Institutet medical school and received her Ph.D. training at Yale University. She has been at the Karolinska Institutet since 1976, and as chairman of the department of pediatrics from 1987-99, was the founder and project leader for Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, the largest children’s hospital in Northern Europe.

In 1987, she was appointed to the Nobel Assembly for Physiology or Medicine in Stockholm, where she served as a member until 2003. From 1991-96, she was a member of the Nobel Committee and in 2001 she was the first woman to chair the Nobel Assembly.

She has served as a council member of the International Society of Nephrology, the International Pediatric Society of Nephrology and the European Society of Nephrology and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.

A dedicated teacher, Aperia has trained numerous undergraduate students and pediatric residents, and has supervised nearly 50 Ph.D. students and 30 postdoctoral fellows. She also has published approximately 300 original papers, 40 review articles and 10 textbook chapters.

In addition to the public lecture, Aperia will present Grand Rounds in the Department of Pediatrics at Cabell Huntington Hospital at 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 13. Her topic will be “How being a pediatric nephrologist has influenced my scientific work and vice versa.”

MIIR is Marshall’s key vehicle to advancing regional economic development through entrepreneurship and commercialization of scientific discoveries. Scientists at the institute are developing an intensive program of biotechnology research dedicated to producing patentable scientific breakthroughs and creating new businesses based on those discoveries.