And the Winners of the 2018 NephJCKidneys are...

Nathan Hellman Social Media Innovation of the Year


The GlomCon Interactive Fellows’ Curriculum

The Nate Hellman Award is it: Best Picture, Album of the Year, MTV Video Vanguard, Cy Young, Lombardi, World Cup, World Series all wrapped up in one. The Nathan Hellman award is presented each year since 2016 by NephJC to the social media project in the spirit of free open access that has made the most impact in nephrology education. The late Nate Hellman founded Renal Fellow Network in 2008 as his personal blog and this marked the beginning the online education movement in nephrology. Over the past 10 years, the Renal Fellow Network has continued to be website for fellows by fellows to discuss pertinent educational content for fellows in training. This year’s winner of the Nathan Hellman Award is the GlomCon Interactive Fellows’ Curriculum. GlomCon won the 2017 ASN Innovation in Kidney Education contest for their proposal to add trivia and case conferences geared towards fellows to their already popular platform of video-based live conference style interactive lectures. This year saw the added enhancement of a dedicated Fellows’ curriculum. Fellowship programs/practices from around the world have enlisted to help teach a wide variety of topics related to glomerular disorders. This is no small feat to organize and execute. The project was spearheaded by the GlomCon founder Ali Poyan Mehr with additional support from Pravir Baxi, and Dia Waguespack. The sessions are extremely popular and draw live viewers from all over the world and typically garner ~100 live views for each of the sessions. All sessions are archived on the GlomCon website for those that were unable to make the live session. The most impressive aspect of the project is the ability to organize and execute these events on a weekly basis and have broad buy in from the entire nephrology community. From nephropathology, to academic nephrology, to private practice. Everyone working together to provide state of the art learning in a free, open, and collaborative environment. GlomCon is doing it on a level that few have been able to execute and for that reason they are a perfect ambassador for nephrology and a worthy recipient of the Nathan Hellman Social Media Innovation of the Year.

Article of the Year

A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Blood-Pressure Reduction in Black Barbershops


The raison-d'etre for #NephJC to exist as a nephrology journal club is to discuss articles - new research being published in nephrology. Research that sometimes affirms what we are doing, research that gives us a better understanding of how things work, or research that shows a better way of doing things. The ‘Article of the Year’ award sifts through the 24 excellent papers that we discuss every year, and highlight the one that the community thinks deserves it. It is a truly democratic choice, voted upon by the nephrology twitter community. In the inaugural 2016 year, it was awarded to AKIKI, the first major trial that reported early initiation of dialysis in AKI as not being useful. In 2017, the sodium conundrums from the Titze Lab which have befuddled us as much as increase our understanding of the physiology made the cut. In 2018, we are proud to announce the Barbershop study from the late Dr Ron Victor as the #NephJCKidneys ‘Article of the Year’ winner.

Hypertension is not well controlled, and the problem is worse in African-Americans, and far worse in African-American men in particular. Dr Victor and his team had been working on this vexing issue for many years, using various means of outreach, going into the community, and recognizing the important role of barbershops for this vulnerable population. A cluster RCT, using barbershop patrons in which pharmacists actually went to the barbershops and prescribed antihypertensive medications showed a dramatic lowering of over 20 mm Hg. Very few trials show such a potential impact - which is why it is no surprise this trial made it as the winner.

Most Valuable Player

Maryam Khosravi


The Most Valuable Player is awarded to the tweep who we think is just that: most valuable. Kevin Fowler who has been a consistent voice for the patient perspective was the first recipient of this NephJCKidney in 2016. 2017 saw the explosive debut of the irascible Rush nephrologist, Roger Rodby. For 2018, we jump across the pond to award the MVP to Maryam Khosravi!

Maryam has had an outsize contribution to the nephrology twitterverse in the last few months. Among some memorable twitter highlights: She stepped up at the last minute, literally, as we were scrambling to host the ddAVP clamp NephJC Chat in March. She was deep in the #NephGate2 conspiracy at the time too - involved with the shenanigans of the #RushRenalRogues, Bill Whittier and 2017 MVP, Roger Rodby. Her twitter timeline is full of gifs, art, mixed with a lot of serious science. She is a indeed a very serious scientist herself, having been featured on the BBC documentary as part of a ground-breaking research expedition investigating the effects of low oxygen levels at high altitude. A deserving MVP, and welcome addition to the NephTwitter community!

Most Engaged Scientist

Marvin Gonzalez, first author of the MesoAmerican research study from JASN, 2018


The most engaged scientist is like the best director mixed up with the best actress/actor Academy award. It is not so much for doing the perfect study or the most practice changing trial or discovering a novel pathway. It is about which scientist was most passionate about joining us on twitter and discussing their research and answering all   the questions we throw at them. Past winners include March Ghannoum who runs the EXTRIP workgroup account, and Katalin Susztak, the superstar UPenn scientist. This year’s most engaged scientist is Marvin Gonzalez, from Nicaragua.

The study on mesoamerican nephropathy itself that we discussed is quite something - the amount of community involvement seen was very encouraging. Moreover, Marvin, who otherwise had hardly used twitter, was very responsive. He joined both the chats and thoughtfully answered all the questions being sent his way. Were biospsies performed and what did they show? How was the enrolment rate so good? Why was the ratio of 3:1 for men and women chosen? How are Nicaraguans on the pacific coast different than those on the Atlantic? We would have been groping in the dark if it would not have been Marvin Gonzalez patiently walking us through those aspects. A richly deserved most engaged scientist of the year!

Rookie of the Year

mohammed elraggal.jpg

#NephTwitter and #NephJC is growing and it is no surprise that every year we see new people join the platform and become instant first-class contributors. We want to recognize and encourage these people. The inaugural Rookie of the Year was, current NSMC associate program director, Silvi Shah. In 2017, Cathy Quinlan of Australia walked away with the coveted title.

The winner for 2017 is another pioneer from a novel continent. Mohamed Elrggal is the first NSMC intern from Egypt. He has been an avid contributor. In fact he most recently organized all the nominations for the #NephJCKidneys. The fact that he did this without prompting is one of the reasons he was an obvious choice for this award.

Mohamed also wrote a memorable and provocative post for RFN arguing against the push for fistulas for everyone.

Mohamed’s dedication to NephJC can be seen in his introduction for the water in CKD NephJC and was an active participant in many NephJCs despite coming at a rather inconvenient time for Egypt.

Mohammed’s crowning legacy is still a work in progress. He looked at the NephJC and saw a website in need of better organization and he designed and is implementing a much needed indexing system. This will be a major upgrade for NephJC usability.

Summary prepared by Matt Sparks, Swapnil Hiremath, and Joel Topf