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L. Darryl Quarles and Zhousheng Xio Maturation Fund Recipients for 2018

Group of researchers holding large checks for maturation funding

Improved poultry feeders, treatments for ophthalmic and renal diseases, human and veterinary diagnostic tests, and a novel treatment for canine infections are among the recipients of this year’s maturation funding from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF).

Four teams affiliated with  the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) received funding. They are:

• Monica Jablonski, PhD, UTHSC professor of Ophthalmology; and Mohamed Moustafa, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology, for “Extended Release Formulation of a New Glaucoma Therapy”
• Hao Chen, PhD, assistant professor in the UTHSC Department of Pharmacology, for “YoRodents: Applying Artificial Intelligence to Analyze Rodent Social Behavior”
L. Darryl Quarles, MD, professor and division chief of Medicine-Nephrology and Zhousheng Xiao PhD, associate priofessor in the division of Medicine-Nephrology at UTHSC, for “Novel FGF-23 Inhibitors to Treat Disorders of FGF-23 Excess”
• Mark Lister, student, UT Martin, Engineering and Robert LeMaster, PhD, PE, professor of Engineering at UT Martin, for “Supplemental Tube Feeder”

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UT Collaboration Examines How Natural Chemicals in Green Tea Work

image of Dr. L. Darryl QuarlesGreen tea has always been known to have beneficial health effects, but how these effects come about has been a mystery. Now, a team collaborating across the University of Tennessee System has discovered molecular mechanisms with which key chemicals in green tea work.

The research teams of L. Darryl Quarles, MD, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), Jeremy C. Smith, PhD, of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Jerome Baudry, PhD (who was at UTK, but has since moved to the University of Alabama in Huntsville) have discovered which receptor key chemicals found in green tea interact with, according to work published in the article, “GPCR6A is a Molecular Target for the Natural Products Gallate and EGCG in Green Tea,” in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, a peer-reviewed scientific journal that covers the latest research in nutrition and food science.

Dr. Quarles, the primary investigator of this research, states that the work is important for a number of reasons. “First, it provides a molecular mechanism to explain the medicinal effects of green tea on energy metabolism and why consumption of green tea may impact a wide range of clinical disorders,” Dr. Quarles said. The clinical disorders that green tea consumption has been reported to impact include metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and prostate cancer. “Second, the publication of this research is another example of the unique computational biology expertise at UTK/ORNL.” Read More

Csaba P. Kovesdy, MD, FASN of UTHSC and the Memphis VA Medical Center, Selected as Data Harmonization Initiative Representative for American Society of Nephrology

Dr. Csaba Kovesdy outside a UTHSC buildingThe American Society of Nephrology (ASN) recently selected Csaba P. Kovesdy, MD, FASN, director of the Clinical Outcomes and Clinical Trials Program in Nephrology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and chief of the Nephrology Section at the Memphis VA Medical Center (VAMC), as an ASN representative for a new data harmonization initiative. The Fred Hatch Professor of Medicine, Dr. Kovesdy will serve with five other experts in chronic kidney disease from around the world to develop consistent messaging about kidney disease worldwide. Read Full Story

Division of Nephrology hosts Fellowship Graduation Dinner

fellows at graduation dinner

Each year the fellowship program hosts a dinner and award ceremony as a farewell tribute to the fellowship graduating class. This year’s graduates are Drs. Albert Ndzengue, Sylvester Ogbata, and Winston Okechukwu. Each fellow was presented with a certificate of completion and token of appreciation. The graduation dinner is held annually at Owen Brennan Restaurant.

After dinner was served, each graduate made their announcements about where they would be working. The 1st year fellows had to be passed down the responsibilities of assisting the incoming fellowship class. This is an annual process, where the 1st year fellows are actually graduating to 2nd year fellows.

Congratulations graduating fellows!

Csaba Kovesdy, MD presents at the 2016 NKF Spring Clinical Meeting

doctor, clip art of kidneys and national kidney foundation logo
Csaba Kovesdy, MD

Presented at the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM16)that were held April 27-May 1, 2016 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts. 

NKF’s unique meeting was designed to address the many challenges that clinicians face every day in their various clinical settings. Through  richly educational palette of courses, workshops, debates, and symposia, SCM16 provides the most up-to-date advances in the care and treatment of individuals with CKD.

Topics presented:

  • “Hypertensive Renal Disease”
  • “Management of BP in CKD: Different from Non-CKD?”
  • “Reconciling Protein-Energy Wasting with Low Protein Diet in CKD: Revisiting Low Protein Diets for Conservative Kidney Failure Care”

Nephrology Grand Rounds Via WebEx Monthly Meeting, Tuesday June 21, 2016 “Kidney Biopsy Conference”

Residents sitting in the grand rounds meeting and an image of Dr. Patrick Walker
Patrick D. Walker, MDSource: uthsc


The Division of Nephrology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center hosts one Nephrology Grand Rounds meeting every month via WebEx with Dr. Patrick Walker. Patrick D. Walker, M.D. has more than 30 years of experience in the interpretation of native kidney and renal allograft biopsies. Before becoming Director of Arkana Laboratories, he was the Assistant Chief, and later Chief of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the John L. McClellan Veterans Administration Hospital, and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Walker served on the faculty at Tulane University (1978-91) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (1991-02). He has published more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has written several book chapters including “Glomerular Diseases” and “Major Non-Glomerular Disorders” in the widely acclaimed Cecil: Essentials of Medicine.

He has lectured and participated in grand rounds and conferences, both in the United States and internationally, and served on numerous national, university, and local committees. He has been principle investigator or co-principle investigator on more than 20 research grants and has received numerous teaching, research, and service awards.

Dr. Walker is a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology and the College of American Pathologists. He is also a member of the International Society of Nephrology, the National Kidney Foundation, the Renal Physicians Association, the Renal Pathology Society, and the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.

Last Published: May 30, 2018