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Non-profit organization committed to improvement and dissemination of knowledge regarding the pathology and pathophysiology of renal disease

Renal Pathology Club Officers


Conrad Pirani    1978-1980

Robert Heptinstall   1981-1983

Ben Spargo      1984-1986

Jacob Churg      1987-1988

????       1989-1990

Jay Bernstein       1991

Gloria Gallo        1992



Fred Silva          1978

Jay Bernstein     1979-1990

Charles Jennette    1991-1992

Helen Liapis 2006-2010

Harsharan Singh 2010-2014

Carmen Avila-Casado 2014-2020

Virginie Royal 2021-2023


Renal Pathology Society Presidents

1993                Gloria Gallo

1994                Michael Kashgarian

1995                Fred Silva

1996                Vivette D’Agati

1997                Arthur Cohen

1998                Robert Colvin

1999                Seymour Rosen

2000                Charles Alpers

2001                Melvin Schwartz

2002                Agnes Fogo

2003                Cynthia Nast

2004                Charles Jennette

2005                Lorraine Racusen

2006                Jan Bruijn

2007                Stephen Bonsib

2008                Mark Haas

2009                Surya Seshan

2010                Maria Picken

2011                Terry Cook

2012                Guillermo Herrera

2013                Volker Nickeleit

2014                 Helen Liapis

2015                 Glen Markowitz

2016                Ian Roberts

2017                Anthony Chang

2018                James Pullman

2019                Laura Barisoni

2020 Michael Mengel

2021 Parmjeet Randhawa


History of the Renal Pathology Society


The following was contributed by Steve Bonsib and Fred Silva on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the RPS, held during USCAP 2007, in San Diego, CA.

The Development of the Renal Pathology and Medical Societies, the International Society of Nephrology, The American Society of Nephrology and The International Association of Medical Museums/International Academy of Pathology (IAMM/IAP).

Introduction (Stephen Bonsib): Tonight's RPS 30-year Anniversary Celebration is intended to honor those giants of our discipline responsible for crafting a structure, the RPC/RPS, to promote scientific and clinically focused dialogue, and to acknowledge the role they played in our lives and in our careers. It is somewhat arbitrary, and a little unfair, to honor a select group, referred to as Founding Members and Charter Members (next invited to join), since there are many individuals in this room of comparable stature who, except for a year or two removed from 1977, are equally deserving. On the other hand, it is exciting to realize that within our ranks today are new member and junior members who are destined to achieve great stature in our discipline in the years to come.

Before I review the history of the RPS, it is appropriate to place this brief chapter within a broader historical context that spans centuries. There are many anatomists, pathologists, and clinicians, whose work prepared medicine for the emergence of the RPC and fostered its evolution into the RPS. So let's return to our roots and recall how it all began....

(Timeline prepared by Bonsib and Silva)

Introduction (Fred Silva): There has been a symbiosis or synergy between the development of renal pathology as a discipline/profession, and several organizations including the USCAP/IAP, and the ASN/ISN. Almost as if there were several stands of "DNA" interwoven together, intercalating people and projects, societies and presentations, and knowledge...all coming together and influencing each other. These societies, like the USCAP/IAP and the ASN/ISN have helped make "careers", both influencing and being influenced by the individual "renal pathologist".

I. The Dawn of Nephrology and Nephropathology

Let's look back to the beginnings. The story begins long ago...

3rd Century AD: Claudius Galen first anatomist to recognize the kidney's role in urine formation, De usu partium .... Leonardo de Vinci in 1509, and in 1543 Versalius, provided the first detailed drawings of the genitourinary tract... Early 1600s: Three eyeglass makers, Hans Lippershey (who also developed the first real telescope), Hans Janssen, and his son, Zacharias, are credited for inventing the microscope.... late 1660s Marcello Malpighi described the "renal corpuscles"and wrote "Do not stop to question whether these ideas are new or old, but ask, more properly, whether they harmonize with nature. And be assured of this one thing, that I never reached my idea of the structure of the kidney by the aid of books but by the long, patient and varied use of the microscope. I have gotten the rest by deduction of reason, slowly, and with an open mind, as is my custom"... 1820s and 1830s Bright and Rayer... 1837 Gabrial Valentin: invented the first crude microtome. William Bowman demonstrated with intravascular dye injection coupled with microscopic examination the structure of the nephron and its vascular supply... 1870 Introduction of histochemical stains led to the microscopic studies of Klebs and Langerhans, and later Lohlien culminating in the classic renal pathology studies of Volhard and Fahr in 1914 And Bell in 1930... 1895 Lucatello and 1907 Schulfer - liver biopsies performed... 1901 George Edelbolhs, a New York gynecologist wrote The Surgical treatment of Bright's Disease. He performed decapsulation and capsular incisional biopsies of the kidney and sent tissue for frozen section during the operation... 1905 G. Carl Huber serial section reconstruction of nephrogenesis... 1906: The IAMM was founded by Maude Abbott and others- see www.uscap.org for complete history of the IAMM/IAP.... May 15, 1907: "The International Association of Medical Museums" Bulletin was started. Early articles included the exchange of museum specimens, the various methods for the preservation and mounting of specimens for research and education, on the teaching of pathology by the case system, supplemented by gross and microscopic specimens, and other anatomic methods. Kidneys were included... 1914 Volhard and Fahr: Bright's Disease... 1923 Norman Gwyn, Toronto, provided the 1st illustrations of renal histology during life, finding acute glomerulonephritis and amyloidosis. Suggested that a renal biopsy should be taken at the end of and abdominal surgical procedure noting "a kidney can always suffer the loss of a millimeter of substance"... 1929 Normal Capon and G. Campbell studied biopsies from children undergoing Edelbodl's capsulotomy, FSGS and crescents were demonstrated... 1931: "The Renal Lesions in Bright's Disease" by T. Addis and J. Oliver was published... 1934-1951: Possibility that percutaneous needle biopsy could be obtained from a kidney by Ball (1934), Lindblom (1946), Cazal (1949) and Perez-Ara (1950). The first use of needle biopsies for the diagnosis of medical diseases of the kidney was by Iversen and Brun (1951), Alwall (1952), and Pardo (1953). 1934 Ball closed renal biopsies with an aspiration device for tumors. 1939 Iverson and Roholm: among the first to perform percutaneous liver biopsies, over 100. This procedure occasionally demonstrated the safety of performing renal biopsies. Kark involved in liver biopsies at the time stated "like others I aimed a patient's liver and pulled out renal tissue, no harm resulted. 1943 Castleman and Smithwick: took biopsies from patients during abdominal sympathectomies for hypertension and concluded that renal arteriolar sclerosis appeared to follow and to be the result, rather than the cause, of hypertension. The relationship of the vascular disease to the hypertensive state, JAMA 121:1256-1261, 1943, B. Castleman and RH Smithwick, "Pathologists so accustomed to the microscopic appearance of the hypertensive kidney from autopsy material with the usual postmortem changes that at the beginning of this study some of the findings due to early fixation (a matter of seconds) seemed so conspicuous that they were at first believed to be pathologic". 1944 Nils Alwall performed aspiration biopsies of 13 patients with proteinuria. He did not publish his observations until 1952. 1946 "Renal Diseases" (Fifth Edition) by E.T. Bell was published. 1948 "Glomerular Nephritis, Diagnosis and Treatment" by T. Addis was published.

1948 McManus introduces PAS reaction to human kidney tissues.

1950 The Renal Biopsy Era - Nephrology and Nephropathology are Born

1950-1953:Drs. H. Latta, JF Hartmann, K.R. Porter and J Blum, DC Pease, GE Palade, and VE Cosslett introduce transmission electron microscopy to the study of human disease. One of the very first (if not first) uses of TEM was the study of the human renal tissues in "lipoid nephrosis" (aka minimal change nephrotic syndrome) (there was only "fusion" of foot processes)... 1950 Coon and Kaplan 1st developed the fluorescent labeled antibody for use in tissue... 1950 Latta and Hartmann use a glass edge in thin sectioning for electron microscopy, Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 74: 436, 1950... 1950 "Medical Diseases of the Kidney" was published by JFK McManus.

1951-1961 Various groups active in renal biopsy research (Chicago, Washington and Minneapolis groups); also Copenhagen, Paris, Birmingham (UK), Stockholm, Italy and others)... 1951 Paul Iverson and Claus Brun 1st published series of renal biopsies. Am J Med 11:324-330, 1951... 1951 Heptinstall commented in 1990 about classifications and terminology that existed at the end of his pathology training in 1951

"Pity the young pathologist entering this arena!"... 1951 "The Kidney: Structure and Function in Health and Disease" by Homer W. Smith published... 1951 "The Kidney: Medical and Surgical Diseases" by Arthur C. Allen published... 1952: The first percutaneous renal biopsies were performed at the University of Chicago by Robert M. Kark and Robert C. Muehrcke. "For reasons that are still not entirely clear to me, the small renal biopsy specimens could not be handled by the surgical pathology laboratory and were entrusted to me by Dr. Granville A. Bennett, then chairman of the department. At the time I had no particular experience in renal pathology ; Dr. Bennett said 'Try to make sense of these small specimens'. At the time I did not appreciate the tremendous opportunity being given to me, that is, the resource for studying renal pathology during the life of a patient and from a completely new angle"... 1952 Dr. Pirani wrote that Kark and Muehrcke embarked upon "an ambitious program of renal disease studies. They were joined 2 years later by Victor Pollak, a brilliant young internist ...Among the pathology residents of the time, Dr. Jose Manaligod and Seymour Rosen took a keen interest that they maintained through their subsequent academic careers."... 1952: After World War II, the IAMM/IAP was resurrected by Dr. Kash Mostofi when he became the Secretary/Treasurer of the IAMM in 1952. "Young Kash Mostofi was the imaginative, energetic, dedicated and bold individual who led, and at times drove, the Academy in the direction to what it is now" (Dr. Nate Kaufman). Since that time, pathologists interested in the kidney have played a major part in our society and our profession. They have "grown up" together... 1952: First publication of "Laboratory Investigation: A Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology". Several articles on the kidney: the histochemistry (R.D. Lillie), preparation of tissue for EM study (A.J. Dalton), epidemic hemorrhagic fever/nephritis (C.F.Mayer), and pathologic changes after bilateral nephrectomy in dogs and rats (W.J. Kolff and W.R. Fisher). One of the charter Editorial Board members was J.F. McManus (along with Drs. Kinney, Kaufman, Ash, Diff, Edwards, Farber, Liebow, MacCardle, Stewart and Stowell)... 1953 DB Jones, published the technique for the Jones methenamine silver stain... 1953: A new Special Course on Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology of an organ system was initiated by Dr. Kash Mostofi at the 42nd Annual IAMM Meeting. The first subject was "The Kidney". This was the genesis of the IAP/USCAP's "Long Course"... 1954 Kark and Muehrcke first to perform renal biopsies in the prone position using a modified Vim-Silverman needle.. 1955 Adequacy of the biopsy specimen: Muehrcke, Kark, Pirani demonstrated that renal cortex containing at least 5 glomeruli provided a representative picture of the type and severity of the lesions present. N Engl J Med 253: 537, 1955... 1955 Rinehart JF, The fine structure of the renal glomerulus as revealed by electron microscopy. Arch Pathol 59:439, 1955... 1956 The IAP (IAMM renamed the IAP in 1955) started for the first time the "Short Courses" at the Cincinnati meeting. This idea was brought forth and implemented by Dr. Chapman Binford. A Short Course on Renal Pathology soon followed (vide infra)... 1956 Fernandez-Moran H. Application of a diamond knife for ultrathin sectioning to the study of the sine structure of biological tissues and metals. J Biophys Biochem Cytol suppl. 2:29, 1956... 1956 Mellors RC, Ortega LG. Analytical pathology II: New observations on pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis, lipid nephrosis, periarteritis nodosa and secondary amyloidosis in man. Am J Pathol 32: 455-499, 1956... 1957 Churg J, Grishman E emphasized the importance for thin histologic section 2-3 microns [Applications of thin Sections to the problems of renal pathology, J Mt Sinai Hosp 24: 736, 1957]... 1957 Jacob Churg and Edith Grishman introduce "thin sections" to renal pathology... 1957 Farquar MG, Vernier RL, Good RA. An electron microscopy study of the glomerulus in nephrosis, glomerulonephritis, and lupus erythematosus. J Exp Med 106:649-660, 1957... 1958: The First Maude Abbott Lecture: "Interstitial Nephritis" by Prof. Uehlinger/Zurich.

Heptinstall wrote about renal pathology during the 1950s

"These early years of the biopsy were fascinating times and the Renal Association, which met monthly at the Ciba Foundation in London, provided a testing forum for presentation of new data. Not only were your views verbally assailed, but your physical well-being put in danger, for on one occasion I was quite literally thrown off the podium. Admittedly, I had long exceeded my time and the chairman of the session, R. A. McCance from Cambridge, was not one to be trifled with". Am J Kid Dis 16:568-571, 1990.

Late 1950's (probably about 1958 or 1959): Dr. Conrad L. Pirani started the first IAP Short Course on Renal Disease. He continued this alone through 1966, when the Renal Short Course was split into two parts (As I recall because Dr. Pirani developed Chicken Pox and needed a "backup") (Dr. Churg I believe): Starting in 1967: Part 1 given by Drs. Jacob Churg and Ben Spargo (Glomerulus); Part II by Drs. Robert Heptinstall and Conrad Pirani (Tubulointerstitial and Vascular). These early leaders continued these Short Courses through 1979 (with Dr. R. Cotran replacing Dr. Pirani in 1979), eventually giving others a "chance" to present Renal Short Courses. There has almost always been at least one Renal Short Course given at the IAP/USCAP every year since that time. Other presenters of renal Short Courses in order were: Drs. S.Rosen and E. Galvanick (1980 - 1984); R.Pascal and Sian (Transplant) (1984-1987), A. Cohen and Silva (1985-1991), Kobeck and D'Agati (Glomerular)( 1991-1994) and Cohen and C. Nast (TIV) (1991-1994), Snover and Sibley (Tx) (1993-1996) and Vasculitis (C.Jennette and Rosen) (1993-1996), A.Fogo and S. Iskandar (1996-1999), Seshan and Racusen (2002-2004) and Cohen/Nast/Lechago (transplant (2002-2004), Vasculitis (Jennette and Neikeleit) (2004-2006); Lager and Kay (2005-2007), Neikeleit and L. Hammond (2006-2008), and (Transplant) and in 2008-present (Cohen and Nast).

1960: Dr. Hamburger, the first President of the ISN, coined the term "Nephrology".

1960's: The first IAP evening Specialty Conference was started by Dr. Mostofi. In 1968 Renal Pathology was first introduced to this setting/format (only Surgical Pathology and Pediatric Pathology had a "Specialty Conference" at that time). The moderator was Dr. Mostofi, and the presenters included: Drs. A. Allen, T. Antonovych, J.M.B. Bloodworth, J. Churg, G.J. Dammin, Ted Ehrenreich, Robert Jennings, David Jones, Conrad Pirani, Seymour Rosen, Ben Spargo, Gerald Spear, Ben Trump, and R.B. Wilson. Dr. Mostofi continued Chairing this Renal Specialty Conference through 1977, then the following individuals became Chairs, in order: Drs. David Jones, Gloria Gallo, S. Rosen, A. Cohen, C. Jennette, C. Alpers, V. D'Agati, A. Fogo, and R. Colvin.

1960 - 1st International Society of Nephrology Meeting, Evian, France, Jean Hamburger Chairman... 1961 CIBA Foundation Symposium on Renal Biopsy, London, to assess the risks, values, and potential of the renal biopsy. Chair - Arnold Rich; Pathologists - Pathologists included Bergstrand (Sweden), R. Habib (France), R.H. Heptinstall (United Kingdom), R.B. Jennings (US), H.Z. Movat (Canada) and C.L. Pirani (US). Approximately 5,000 biopsies were performed from 1949-1961 in North America and Europe.

It was difficult for the older pathologists and physicians to discard long held views and hypotheses about pathology, pathogenesis, and nature of renal disorders. They could not bring themselves to accept that a small core of tissue could be representative of disease in the kidney. "The leisurely exchange of view (over a glass of sherry in midmornings and a nice cup of tea in the afternoon) and frank and detailed discussions of the many important issues was extremely useful"... 1964: Another IAP Special, all day, course on one-organ system (aka "Long Course" now): "Pathologic Physiology and Anatomy of the Kidney: Directed by Dr. Mostofi. Presenters included: Drs. Edith Potter, Ben Spargo, Robert Berliner, Douglas Waugh, Claus Brun, J.F.A. McManus, Arthur Allen, Conrad Pirani, Edward Kass, Robert Heptinstall, Paul Kimmelstiel, E.M. Darmady, Hans Zollinger, Ashton Morrison, Charlie Barron, and Kash.

Two additional renal symposia in the 1964 Annual Meeting of the IAP were entitled: 1.) "Geographic Pathology of Renal Diseases: including a discussion on Nephrology of Analgesic Abuse": chaired by Ben Castleman. Presenters and panelists included: Drs. Ed Kass, Hans Zollinger, Claus Brun, Paul Kimmelstiel, Arthur Steer, G.M. Edington, Milovan Radonic, and Hugh Edmonson and 2.) Immunologic Injury of the Kidney, including a discussion on Renal Transplantation chaired by Dr. J. J. Vazquez/Duke. Lecturers included Drs. Robert Mellors, David Hume, Edward Hager, and Gustave Dammin.

1964 The journal "Nephron" was founded by G. Richet and G.E. Schreiner... 1966 - Pathology of the Kidney, Ed. Robert Heptinstall, 1st edition published... The 1964 IAP Long Course on the Kidney (Number 6) edited by Drs. Mostofi and David E Smith was published as an IAP Monograph. As noted before: Authors included: Drs. Potter and Osathanondh, Spargo, Berliner, Waugh, Brun and Munck, McManus and Lupton, A. Allen, Conrad Pirani and J.R. Manaligod, Edward Kass, R.H. Heptinstall, Paul Kimmelstiel, E.M Darmady, Hans Zollinger, Ashton Morrison, Charles Barron, Mostofi, R.C. Mellors, J. Vasquez, David Hume, Edward Hager, Gustave Dammin, Edward Kass, Arthur Steer, George Edington/A.R.Mainwariging, M Radonic, and Hugh Edmonson. (Another Long Course on "Kidney Disease: Present Status" would be held in 1976 under the Direction of Drs. Spargo, Mostofi, and Murray (Gus) Abell. These authors included: Drs. Karnovsky, David Jones, Ben Spargo, J. Steward Cameron, Conrad Pirani and Fred Silva, Jacob Churg, Ruth Bulger, Robert Goyer, L.I. Woolf, M. Kashgarian, Ramzi Cotran, Robert Heptinstall, Jay Bernstein, and Steen Olsen.). Thus from 1953 - 1976, there were 3 IAP Long Courses on the Kidney (more than any other organ specialty).... ISKDC organized. In 1970 published results of first randomized clinical trial and first classification of childhood nephrotic syndrome recognizing focal sclerosis as histologic diagnosis that identifies a patient at very high risk of progressive renal failure...1967: An entire scientific session of scientific abstracts at the IAP (platform/proffered session) (one of a total of 10 separate scientific abstract "sessions") was given on March 13, 1967 on the Kidney (8 abstracts). Authors included: David Jones, Lynn Ogden, Seymour Rosen et al, C. Craig Tisher and S. Rosen, Sergio Bencosme et al, A.J. Monserrat et al, Daniel Neagoy and Francis Cuppage, and Stephen Imrie and Joel Brunson... Two Renal Short Courses: Jacob Churg and Ben Spargo: Part I

Drs. Robert Heptinstall and Conrad L. Pirani: Part II. Per Fred Silva "These Short Courses by the Fab Four went on for well over 10 years. I remember Dr. Pirani telling me that he joined up with another person, just in case someone got sick (I believe either Dr. Pirani got chickenpox and was worried he'd miss the meeting, or something like that)". 1968: 1st American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting... 1968 - The Nephropathology Evening Specialty Conference started by Dr. Mostofi (3 at that time: Pediatric Pathology, Surgical Pathology, and Nephropathology). Chair: F. K. Mostofi Speakers: A Allen, T Antonovych, J Bernstein, JMB Bloodworth, J Churg, GJ Dammin, T Ehrenreich, GC Faith, RH Heptinstall, R Jennings, DB Jones, CL Pirani, S. Rosen, SC Sommers, B Spargo, GS Spears, BF Trump1971-1976 Arakawa: SEM studies of the podocyte... 1972 The journal "Kidney International" was founded... 1972 Robert Heptinstall becomes the ASN President... 1973The journal "Clinical Nephrology" was founded... 1975 "Handbook of Kidney Nomenclature", Edited by E.L. Becker... 6th Congress of the ISN, J. Hamburger, alluding to the impact of the renal biopsy said "The history of nephrology of the last 25 years could be entitled 'The decline and fall of Bright's disease and the birth of individual renal diseases from its ashes' "... 1976: The XIth International Congress of the IAP met in Washington DC at the Sheraton Park Hotel. Speakers on renal disease included: McManus, Ashton Morrison, T. Antonovych, J. Berger, Churg and Ehrenreich, A. Cohn/Zamboni, Cotran-Galvanek and Busch, Habib-Levy-Gubler, Heptinstall, David Jones, Anna Kadar, M. Kashgarian, P. Kincaid-Smith, R. McCluskey, C. Pirani, A. Seymour-Clarkson and Haynes, Silva-Pirani-Osserman, B. Spargo, Turner-Whitworth-S. Cameron, and Tsai - Germuth, and others.

The birth of the Renal Pathology Club

October 19, 1977 Conrad Pirani sent a letter to:

Peter Burkholder
Jacob Churg
Ramzi S. Cotran
Francis Cuppage
Robert H. Heptinstall
David B. Jones
Michael Kashgarian
Richard Kempson
John M. Kissane
Robert McCluskey
Kash Mostofi
Benjamin Spargo
Gary Striker

November 20, 1977: The first meeting of the Renal Pathology Club, "instigated" by Dr. Conrad L. Pirani. At first a small group to get together and discuss things, but after Dr. Pirani was "attacked" by a prominent pathologist about it being too "elite" (Dr. Heptinstall also thought its membership should be small), it was "opened up" to all those interested! In those days the individuals involved did not think of themselves as "Founding" anything, just getting together with interested, knowledgeable people to advance the field and their knowledge! Dr. Pirani becomes the first President and Secretary of the RPC.

March 7, 1978 The Organizing Committee met in Atlanta. Jay Bernstein and Robert Lannigan were included as new members of the committee. Fred Silva served as secretary. "I can't remember if any of us were thinking of ourselves as "Founding" anything. We just wanted to get together to talk about, and learn about, what we loved and were excited about (F.Silva)". A Medline Search of publications by these 'Founding Members' of the RPC identified -66 publications appeared in print in the year 1977. The Steering Committee created a list of potential new members to invite to join the society. These Charter Members included:

Giuseppe Andres
Curtis Wilson
Gloria Gallo
Tatiana Antonovych
Harrison Latta
Arthur Cohen
Gary Hill
Morris Karnovsky
Tito Cavallo
Alfred Michael
Craig Tisher
Victor Pollak
John Hoyer
Keith Holly
James McAdams
Victoriano Pardo
Ralph McCoy
Seymour Rosen
1978 - First Renal Pathology Club Scientific Meeting, November 19, 1978, New Orleans Hilton Hotel.

Title: Focal Sclerosis.

Chair:Mike Kashgarian

Jay Bernstein - A Report from the International Study of Kidney Disease in Children
Mike Kashgarian - Clinical-Pathologic Correlations
Peter Burkholder - Evidence for Immunologic Mechanisms
Alfred Michael - Experimental Models

1978 The Steering Committee for the Renal Pathology Club met at the IAP meeting in March 1978 in Atlanta...1978: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City starts its Annual "Renal biopsy in Medical Diseases of the Kidney" course under the Direction of Dr. Conrad L. Pirani (with Drs. Silva and G. Appel). That course continues under the able Direction of Vivette D'Agati and Gerald Appel.

1979 The Steering Committee met at the San Francisco Hilton Hotel during the IAP on March 6, 1979. The informal structure of the organization was established and all pathologists in the ASN were invited to join

1980 The Steering Committee also met in March 1980 in New Orleans at the IAP.

1981 - The RPS Steering Committee accepted cosponsorship by the ASN of a jointly sponsored session on the first day of the meeting. Conrad Pirani stepped down as President and Robert Heptinstall became the second President. Jay Bernstein who had been sharing the role of Secretary with Pirani, continued as Secretary... RPC Steering Committee accepted co-sponsorship by the ASN of a jointly sponsored session on the first day of the meeting....The journal "American Journal of Kidney Disease" was founded by the NKF (Drs. Suki and Jamison presiding). The first pathology oriented article in the first issue was "Wegener's granulomatosis: Clinical-Pathologic Correlations and Long Term Course: by Drs. G. Appel, Gee, Kashgarian and Hayslett.

1982 Lingren: biopsy gun technique

1985 Bonsib: Acellular SEM studies of GBM alterations

End of the 1980's The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) founded. A Renal Pathologist (F. Silva) was on the initial ad hoc ASN Committee that met in Washington DC (and later the "Jockey Club") to determine whether the ASN should develop its own journal "official organ" (the ISN had Kidney International) (the answer was yes). Since its inception, one or more renal pathologists have appropriately been on its Editorial Board.

1987 Drs. Jacob Churg and Conrad Pirani receive the John Peters Award from the ASN. Cotran wrote (KI 34: 121, 1988) "Churg and Pirani have been instrumental in rewriting, or, in many instances, writing for the first time, the essential of renal pathology in modern terms"... Peters Lecture - Pirani "You must remember that the only textbook of renal pathology were those of Bell, of Allen, of Vollard and Fahr, if you could read German. All of these books were strictly based upon autopsy material. There was no "Heptinstall". Papers on renal biopsy studies were few and far between. Sections were at least 6 microns thick. Immunofluorescence and electron microscopy were not available as yet. I still remember that early period of renal biopsy with great nostalgia. The sense of wonder in discovering new things is still with me."

1988: Birth of the USCAP journal "Modern Pathology". First renal article: "HIV-associated Nephropathy. A unique combined glomerular, tubular and interstitial lesion" by Arthur Cohen and Cynthia Nast. First members of the Editorial Board (Renal) were Jacob Churg, Arthur Cohen, Gloria Gallo, and Fred Silva.

1990 - Ramzi Cotran, Seymour Rosen, Arthur Cohen, and Fred Silva approached Nathan Kaufman of the USCAP to gain admission as a Companion Society to the USCAP.... Heptinstall wrote in a review of the development of renal pathology that "by clarifying for the first time the natural course of many renal diseases, renal biopsy greatly helped to introduce order where there was previously chaos."

1991 The first Renal Pathology Club meeting as a USCAP Companion Society was on March 17, 1991. The RPC became the 13th Society to become an official USCAP Companion Society.

Current Topics in Renal Pathology

Moderator: Mike Kashgarian and Fred Silva

Speakers: Charles Jennette - ANCA/vascular disease, Arthur Cohen - HIV and the Kidney, Robert Colvin - Pathogenesis of Renal Allograft Biopsies, Barbara Bane - Renal Cell Carcinoma: Review and Update

Transjugular technique Mal et al

1992: The second IAP/USCAP Renal Companion Society was held on March 15, with Jay Bernstein as Moderator. The presenters: Cynthia Nast, Bruce Beckwith, Vivette D'Agati, and Mel Schwartz.... International Nomenclature of Diseases of the Kidney, Lower Urinary Tract and Male Genital Systems, WHO Ed. E. Bankowski... November 12, nominations of officers and executive committee were taken at the NKF meeting in Baltimore, with balloting to follow by mail... The 13th Annual RPC Scientific Session. Chair: Arthur Cohen. Gary S. Hill - Pathology of FSGS, Agnes Fogo- The Pathogenesis of FSGS, Stephen Korbet- The Clinical Management of FSGS.

1993 Drs. Robert Heptinstall and Priscilla Kincaid-Smith receive the John Peters Award from the ASN... Kim Solez organized the first Banff Meeting

March, 1993 - The Renal Pathology Club became the Renal Pathology Society.

1994: Ramzi Cotran becomes President of the ASN... Chapel Hill Consensus Classification of Vasculitis - Charles Jennette

1995 - Young Investigator Award established, Shane Meehan 1st recipient

1996 Conrad L. Pirani, Renal Biopsy: A Historical Perspective, wrote "Structure and function have finally met at the microscope", Chapter 1 in Renal Biopsy Interpretation, Eds. Fred G. Silva, Vivette D. D'Agati, Tibor Nadasdy

1997 - Agnes Fogo launched the ASN Renal Biopsy Course. Jacob Churg Award established - Charles Jennette 1st recipient

Between 1979 and 1999, at least six of the Maude Abbott Lecturers have been renal specialists (including Drs. Mostofi, Heptinstall, Marilyn Farquhar, Morris Karnovsky, Ramzi Cotran, and Richard Kempson). In 2002 and 2003, Drs. Heptinstall and Kempson, respectively received the USCAP Distinguished Pathologist Award. We, renal pathologists, have been well represented at the IAP/USCAP, and it would seem that the growth of our profession- renal pathology has been in parallel and symbiotic with the growth of the Renal Pathology Club/Society and the IAP/USCAP!

1999 Ramzi Cotran receives the John Peters Award from the ASN. (Dr. Cotran was President of the USCAP in 1993-1994, and also served as President of the ASN). In fact since 1972, five bonafide renal pathologists have served as Presidents of the USCAP including Drs. Mostofi, Ben Trump, Robert McCluskey, Ramzi Cotran, and Richard Kempson) and another renal pathologist serving as Vice President (just before becoming Secretary/Treasurer of the USCAP), and two of the nine Secretary-Treasurers of the IAP/USCAP have been/are renal pathologists. The USCAP's Young Investigator Award is now named after the individual that first envisioned this important award-Dr. Ramzi Cotran.

2003 Cynthia Nast and Surya Seshan launch 1st Annual KUFA-RPS Satellite Meeting in Vancouver, BC

2006 The Young Investigator Award was named after Lilliane Striker in recognition of her many contributions to renal research... Conrad Pirani Travel Award established. 1st recipients - Rob de Lind van Wijngaarden, Idske Kremer Hovinga, Marije KoopmansRenal Pathologists - Prestigious Offices and AwardsASN Presidents

1972 - Robert Heptinstall

1994 - Ramzi CotranASN John P. Peters Award

1987 - Conrad Pirani and Jacob Churg

1988 - Renee Habib

1993 - Heptinstall and Pricilla Kincaid Smith

1999 - Ramzi CotranASN Homer W. Smith Award

1988 - Marilyn FarquharUSCAP President

1972 - FK Mostofi

1977 - Ben Trump

1985 - Robert McCluskey

1993 - Ramzi Cotran

1996 - Richard KempsonUSCAP Secretary-Treasurer

1952-1970 - FK Mostofi

1999-2010- Fred Silva (and Executive Vice-President)USCAP Maude Abbott Lecturer

1979 - FK Mostofi

1983 - Robert Heptinstall

1988 - Marilyn Farquhar

1996 - Ramzi Cotran

1999 - Richard Kempson

USCAP Distinguished Pathologist Award

2002 - Robert Heptinstall

2003 - Richard Kempson

USCAP named award after RPC/RPS members

1977 USCAP established the FK Mostofi Award

2000 - Fred Silva recipient

1996 USCAP established the Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator Award

Concluding Comments (Stephen Bonsib): I hope this review provides a sense of a historic continuum that we, nephropathologists of 2007, occupy but one small time slot. We have discovered much since Aristotle taught that urine was formed by the bladder and that the kidneys were present "not of actual necessity, but as matters of greater finish and perfection". As this ever unfolding journey of discovery continues, nephropathology demands and we accept the challenge, that the more questions we answer, the more answers we question.

Concluding Comments (Fred Silva): We renal pathologists, have been well represented at the USCAP/IAP, and it would seem that the growth or our profession-renal pathology-has been in parallel and symbiotic with the growth of the Renal Pathology Club/Society and the USCAP/IAP! Careers and professions have been made together.Over the Years: We have been and remain:

Colleagues and Collaborators

Contacts and Contributors

Confidants and Companions

Catalysts and Competitors (and sometimes even ... Characters)

All these people, projects and places have worked and flowed together to make each other better, and renal pathology what it is today, for all those we serve-our patients, our physicians and out studentsAs Hans Bethe said to a new generation of physicians: "Carry on"...

Renal Pathology Club: Its Creation and Evolution Into The Renal Pathology Society

(Original Documents and Correspondences provided by Michael Kashgarian)

(Submitted by: Stephen M. Bonsib - RPS Historian, May, 2015)

The following PDF files organized by year contain the original correspondences of the Founding Fathers of the Renal Pathology Club. The Renal Pathology Club was conceived in 1977 and formalized in 1978 with generation of a Constitution and By-laws, meeting minutes and scientific programs. The first Scientific Symposium was held in 1978 and covered focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Over the next 14 years many of the minutes of the Annual Meetings, associated comments and proposals are preserved in the PDFs below for your perusal. Finally, communications are also included regarding evolution from The Renal Pathology Club, to the Renal Pathology Society with its first By-Laws. I hope you take time review these historic records. As we move forward we should not lose sight of our origins and the individuals who influenced what we are, and what the RPS has become.

Inventory of Original Documents and Correspondences

1977 – Correspondence from Dr. Pirani to the Founding Members of the Renal Pathology Club

1978 -  Correspondence from Dr. Pirani to the Founding Members of the Renal Pathology Club

Renal Pathology Club Organizing Committee suggested activities for a Renal Pathology Club

            Minutes of the Renal Pathology Club Organizing Committee

            Renal Pathology Club Constitution

            Renal Pathology Club Bylaws

            Minutes of the 1st Renal Pathology Club Meeting

            Correspondence between Drs. Heptinstall, Cohen and Dr. Pirani

            1st Renal Pathology Club Scientific Session program

1979    Correspondence from Jay Bernstein and members of the RPC Organizing Committee

            Minutes of the RPC Organizing Committee Meeting

            Minutes of the 2nd RPC Annual Meeting

1980    Minute of the RPC Steering Committee

1981    No records

1982    No records

1983    Minutes of the RPC Steering Committee

Questionnaire sent to membership regarding structure and function of the RPC and the format and content of its scientific sessions

1984    Correspondence from Jay Bernstein and members of the RPC Steering Committee and with the RPC membership

            Tabulated results of the questionnaire

1985    Minutes of the RPC Steering Committee

1986    Minutes of the RPC Steering Committee

1987    Minutes of the RPC Steering Committee

1988    Minutes of the RPC Steering Committee

            Correspondence between Jay Bernstein and the RPC Steering Committee

            List of RPC Officers and Scientific Programs 1978-1988

1989    Correspondence between Jay Bernstein and the RPC Steering Committee

            Minutes of the RPC Steering Committee

            1989 RPC Scientific Program

1990    Minutes of the RPC Steering Committee

            1989 RPC Scientific Program

Correspondence from Charles Jennette to the RPC Steering Committee regarding the possible transition to a Renal Pathology Society

1991    Minutes of the RPC Steering Committee

Correspondences from Charles Jennette regarding the transition to a Renal Pathology Society

            Bylaws of the Renal Pathology Society


Origin of The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN)

(as recalled by Fred Silva, January 2015)

About 25 years ago (1989) the ASN Offices in Washington DC convened a group of people (interested and experts) in the various fields of renal disease. The meeting was organized to determine whether the ASN should have its own ‘organ’ (comparable to the ISN and Kidney International). Drs. Barry Brenner (Harvard) was the Chair, and Jay Stein (UTSan Antonio) were the leaders. The participants included experts in cell culture (Yale: Dr. Joe Hanlon), renal transplantation (Vanderbuilt: Dr. Raymond Hakim), and an expert representing hypertension,, electrolytes/acid-base, clinical nephrology, dialysis, renal pathology (Fred Silva, then at UTSW/Dallas), and several other subfields of nephrology.

After a day’s intense meeting looking at data which included other renal journals, discussion of the ISN/KI (and whether we needed another journal like KI), the sort of ad hoc journal of the ASN unofficially “Nephron”, and the NKF’s American Journal of the National Kidney Foundation, it was decided that the ASN should have its own “organ”. And the charge was on.

After deciding that the ASN would have its own journal, we all (about 15 of us convened at the Jockey Club in DC (a very fancy, exclusive and expensive restaurant that many of us could not have afforded). Dr. Brenner being a marked wine-consesseur began ordering the expensive wine. Several bottles of the same wine/vintage/year came and each bottle required (by Dr. Brenner) a separate glass. By the time the dinner was through there was little space on our big table for anything but the dozens and dozens of glasses (now emptied of wine). It would have appeared that JASN had some $$ to make up initially!

The Editor in Chief first selected for JASN was from Kansas City, Kansas (Dr. Jared J. Grantham) a wonderful person and expert in the field of clinical and physiologic nephrology (also a great singer). The first Editorial Board of the ASN listing I noted did not have a renal pathologist on board and I mentioned to Dr. Grantham that KI had published some embarrassing light microscopic pictures that were, frankly, wrong. I gave Dr. Grantham a number of names including Dr. Arthur Cohen, and several other prominent renal pathologists. He ‘paid me back’ by making me a member of the Editorial Board of JASN, and all its work.

The first edition of JASN had a message from the Editor, Dr. Grantham. His comments included: “JASN is the outgrowth of one of the youngest and most dynamic professional organizations in medicine – The American Society of Nephrology. Prior to the creation of the Society in 1967, nephrology was a loose federation of basic science disciplines –renal physiology, renal pharmacology, renal biochemistry, renal pathology and immunology—and the hypo-this and hyper-that salt and water doctors. ..”  The complete Message from the Editor is on file with this report and also includes the Message from the Deputy Editor (Lawrence P. Sullivan, PhD) as well as the ASN’s Presidential Address – 1989 by Dr. Jay Stein “Things Have to Change to Stay the Same”.

JASN continued to rise in its Impact Factor (for what that’s worth) and is the top renal journal in impact factor, even exceeding Kidney International. It has continued to expand and now publishes CJASN as well as JASN (the basic researchers at the annual ASN meeting always complained about too much clinical work, and the clinicians always complained about too much basic science. Now maybe both are happy (doubt it).

The first Volume and first number of JASN was in July 1990 and included Reviews (e.g., Mediation of Immune Glomerular Injury by William G. Couser), and a number of original articles. Associate Editors included Gerald DiBona (Iowa), H. William Harris (Boston), Nathan Levin (NYC), and Roger Wiggins (Ann Arbor). Thirty four individuals were on the Board of Reviewing Editors (attached).

About RPS

The RPS promotes excellence in diagnosis, fosters basic, clinical and translational research, encourages training and education in renal disease, sponsors US based and international conferences and symposia, and brings news and updates pertaining to renal pathology to its members around the world.


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