Scientific Advisory Board: Renal Disease

Sharon G. Adler, MD

Sharon G. Adler, MD

Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Chief, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Program Director, Nephrology Fellowship Training Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Dr. Adler is Chief and the Training Program Director for Nephrology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  Her areas of particular expertise include diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, hemo-and peritoneal dialysis. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, and more than 100 reviews, editorials and abstracts. 

Some of her key contributions are:

  • Member, ABIM Nephrology 9-member test writing committee, 2002- 2008
  • Member, American Society of Nephrology Training Program Director Executive Committee
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Kidney Disease Initiative Global Outcomes (KDIGO, 2008-11), a guideline writing group for Nephrology
  • Member of the KDIGO writing group to revise the 2012 Glomerular disease guidelines
  • Member of consortia to improve pathogenetic understanding and treatment of glomerular disease (NEPTUNE, CureGN, NACI)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Nephrology’s new program to reduce infections in outpatient hemodialysis units, entitled “Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety” (NTDS). She is Chair of the NTDS subcommittee responsible for developing a curriculum for the training of US nephrologists and nephrology fellows in infection control.
  • Lectures locally and internationally
  • Participated in the development of local, national, and international Nephrology meetings to enhance learning in Nephrology, including, but not limited to meetings of the American Society of Nephrology, National Kidney Foundation, International Society of Nephrology, and the NephCure Foundation
  • Has trained more than 100 renal fellows in the Los Angeles area and beyond
Daniel C. Cattran, MD, FRCP

Daniel C. Cattran, MD, FRCP

Professor of Medicine

University of Toronto

Dr. Cattran is a graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School. He did postgraduate training both in Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia. He is currently a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. His administrative roles have included Chairman of the Royal College of Canada specialty program in nephrology, and director of the PGE program in nephrology at the University of Toronto. He has also worked with the Kidney Foundation of Canada as a voluntary member of the Medical Advisory Board and subsequent chair of the committee. He was awarded the volunteer of the year award by the Ontario branch of the Kidney Foundation for his contributions. He was cochairman of the KDIGO working group that developed the first published guideline for glomerulonephritis management. He is currently the co-chair of the “song-GD “initiative developing standardization tools for outcomes in GN.

Dr. Cattran’s major research work has been in field of glomerulonephritis. He was the principle organizer and remains the Chair of the Toronto Glomerulonephritis Registry, which currently includes over 12,000 cases of biopsy proven GN. He has authored over 300 peer-reviewed papers and more than 30 book chapters related in large part to glomerulonephritis.

He remains actively involved in clinical research and is currently a member of the executive of the NIH sponsored North American wide project on nephrotic syndrome (Neptune Consortium), member of the steering committee of the international CureGN Consortium project, coPI of the MENTOR project a recently completed randomized controlled trial examining cyclosporine versus rituximab in membranous nephropathy. He is a coPI’s of Canadian Institutes of Health Research sponsoring the Canadian component of the global RCT of steroids versus placebo in IGA and the initiator and coPI of global IgA project on development of risk prediction tool both in adults and children.

Amongst his awards, the Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence and the Distinguish International Scientist award from the US National Kidney Foundation in recognition of his contributions to global nephrology. Most recently he was awarded the Eaton Scholar Researcher of the Year (2017) from the University of Toronto in recognition of sustained excellence as a scientist and role model over several years and the Kidney Foundation of Canada de Veber Award for distinguished service to Nephrology (2018).

Fernando C. Fervenza, MD, PhD

Fernando C. Fervenza, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine

Director of the Nephrology Collaborative Group

Dr. Fervenza is a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. He graduated from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) in Brazil, where he studied medicine. Dr. Fervenza underwent his clinical nephrology training at the Oxford Renal Unit from 1985-1991. Subsequent training included a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University from 1993-1997. Dr. Fervenza is a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology (FASN), Fellow of the American College of Physicians, past Member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Nephrology section, and Section Editor for Glomerular Disease of UpToDate. His interest lies in pursuing patient-oriented research projects aiming to bring new bench research discoveries to the bedside treatment of patients with glomerular diseases.

Alessia Fornoni MD, PHD

Alessia Fornoni MD, PHD

Professor of Medicine and Chief, Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dr. Fornoni received her medical degree from the School of Medicine at the University of Pavia, Italy. She subsequently obtained a Ph.D. Degree in Medical Pharmacology at the same University.

She is currently tenured Professor of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She is Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and she is the Director of the Peggy and Harold Katz Drug Discovery Center at the University of Miami. She is Co-Director of Novel Methods for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Associate Director of the MD PhD program at the same Institution. Dr. Fornoni has gained experience in drug development as Global Head of Discovery in Cardiovascular and Metabolism at Hoffman-La Roche in Basel. She is currently the Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of L&F Health LLC, a small start-up company focused on finding a cure for patients affected by chronic kidney diseases.

As a physician-scientist who has maintained a resolutely focused research program that has provided novel and seminal contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of kidney disease, Dr. Fornoni has conducted research supported by grants from National Institutes of Health, industry and private foundations. She has received prestigious awards, serves on the editorial board of Diabetes and other journals, has been invited to present at national and international meetings in five different continents, and has served as visiting professor at more than 25 academic institutions. Dr. Fornoni serves as grant reviewer for NIH, DOD, ADA, AHA, UK-diabetes and the Italian Ministry of Health. Her contributions have been published in high impact journals: Journal of Clinical Investigation, NEJM, Nature Medicine, Science Translational Medicine, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Diabetes, Kidney International and the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology among others.

DEBBIE S. GIPSON, MD, MS

DEBBIE S. GIPSON, MD, MS

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan

Director, Kidney Research Network Coordinating Center

Dr. Gipson is a Nephrologist and Epidemiologist and manages a research team with a focus to develop, design, and conduct clinical trials for adults and children with kidney disease and improve patient outcomes. She is also a practicing Pediatric Nephrologist at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Gipson graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1989, and she completed pediatric residency at Indiana University Medical Center in 1992, followed by a year as chief resident in 1993. She completed a fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology at Seattle Children's Hospital/University of Washington School of Medicine in 1998 and a Master’s in Epidemiology from University of Washington in 1998.

Pablo A. Guzman, MD, FACC

Pablo A. Guzman, MD, FACC

Chief Medical Officer, ZyVersa Therapeutics

Dr. Guzman received his bachelor's degree in biology in 1971 from St Peter's College in Jersey City, his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in 1975 and his interventional cardiology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 1980 where then he joined the staff for the next 3 years. His duties included patient care, teaching, and both clinical and basic science research. Dr. Guzman became the Assistant Director of the cardiac catheterization lab, and Co-director of the permanent pacemaker lab at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and also Co-director of the cardiac catheterization lab at Baltimore City Hospital. He has over 30 articles in peer reviewed journals and many abstracts, some of them presented in national meetings including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. While at Hopkins, Dr. Guzman became a Fellow of the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology, a member of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology, and a Fellow of The American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Guzman came to South Florida in 1983, and established a private practice in Cardiology. In 1987 he designed and became the Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Boca Raton Community Hospital (now Boca Regional Hospital) and a Fellow of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. He then became the Associate Director of the Cardiac catheterization Laboratory at North Ridge Medical Center.

Dr. Guzman is a past president of the Caducean Society of Greater Fort Lauderdale, a past Chief of the Department of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases at North Ridge Medical Center, and a member of The North Ridge Medical Center Board. Dr. Guzman was a managing partner of Cardiology Associates of Fort Lauderdale, and is currently a member of The Broward County Medical Association. Dr. Guzman has been in the private practice of Medicine/ Cardiology in South Florida for 32 years.

Marlene Haffner, MD, MPH

Marlene Haffner, MD, MPH

Principal and founder at Orphan Solutions and Haffner Associates, LLC

Former Director of the Office of Orphan Products Development of the FDA

Retired Rear Admiral in the US Public Health Service

Dr. Haffner was the Director of the Office of Orphan Products Development at the Food and Drug Administration for 20+ years. In addition to assisting in the development of more than 300 products in the US, she is credited with assisting in the development of programs in Japan, the European Union, Australia, and beyond.

She founded Haffner Associates in 2009 in order to continue to apply her extensive experience in development of orphan products by working with small to large biotech/pharmaceutical companies, patient advocacy groups, and government agencies. Dr. Haffner also serves as an expert advisor and board member to companies throughout the world.

Trained as an internist and hematologist, Dr. Haffner graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine and did further training at the Columbia University School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. She received her Masters of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Following her tenure at FDA and prior to forming Haffner Associates, Dr. Haffner served as Executive Director, Global Regulatory Intelligence and Policy for two years at Amgen, the largest biotech company in the world.

Dr. Haffner has worked in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for more than 30 years. She has seen many changes in the regulatory environment during that period of time and is both sensitive and knowledgeable about politics and the political landscape. She knows “FDA think” and maintains close ties with her friends and colleagues in the agency.