We started GlomCon Seminars in 2016 as virtual, global multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional seminars that included tumor-board-like case discussions, lectures and roundtable discussions by world-renowned experts, and trivia-like educational exercises among U.S. nephrology fellowship programs.
Due to the outstanding learning experience provided by the exceptional faculty and speakers, GlomCon Seminars grew from a small virtual community of nephrologists in Boston to a weekly event with global participants from over 130 countries.
Over the years, several new series and collaborations with professional organizations have allowed the broader nephrology community and thus our patients to benefit from the rapid exchange of the latest knowledge and best practices in glomerular diseases.
The live, open, and interactive style of the GlomCon Seminars enables the cross-institutional transfer of experience and treatment approaches in a unique way. In addition, it has provided an opportunity for participants to create new connections beyond their institutional and geographical barriers.
Equally important, the GlomCon Seminars aim to inspire the next generation of the clinician workforce to pursue clinical and research careers to improve the care of patients with glomerular diseases.
In 2017, GlomCon won the ASN Innovation in Education Award for pioneering this new approach to nephrology education and global network creation.
For further readings about GlomCon as an educational peer-to-peer network and research collaborative, refer to “The Glomerular Disease Study and Trial Consortium: A Grassroots Initiative to Foster Collaboration and Innovation.”
The GlomCon Classics are the original types of GlomCon seminars and are faculty lead case-based or topic-based lectures focused on important contemporary concepts in nephrology and nephropathology.
Nephrologists consider Kidney Transplantation as the preferred treatment modality for most patients with ESKD and advanced CKD. The pre-transplant evaluation, transplantation, and long-term management of patients with kidney transplants are complex and subject to ongoing change. As a leader in virtual nephrology education, GlomCon is introducing a new series dedicated to kidney transplantation to promote the open dissemination of the latest insights by experts in this field. Dr. Mario Rubin designed, initiated, and direct this new monthly conference series dedicated to Kidney Transplantation in 2021, and transferred the leadership over to Dr. Kassem Safa in 2022.
Authorities in the field of transplant will cover essential topics in transplant pathology, clinical transplantation, transplant surgery, and transplant immunology. We also will discuss pertinent issues in transplant ethics and transplant organizations (UNOS, OPTN). In addition to nephrologists, pathologists, and trainees, all other transplant team members, including coordinators, dieticians, social workers, are welcome to join and actively participate. We encourage everyone to suggest topics relevant to their day-to-day care and to submit their interesting or clinically challenging case presentation to be discussed by our panel of transplant experts.
Dr. Mario Rubin is a clinical nephrologist with a particular interest in transplantation medicine. Following his nephrology fellowship training at Georgetown University, he was accepted as a fellow in Immunogenetics and Kidney Transplantation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, by Dr. Charles Carpenter. Following training in alloimmunity and clinical kidney transplantation, he embarked on a professional career in clinical nephrology and kidney transplantation. He had a significant role in implementing kidney transplant programs (at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and Temple University in Philadelphia) and implemented the kidney transplant fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Rubin was a Transplant Education Committee member and the Transplant Nephrology Fellowship Training Accreditation Program of the American Society of Transplantation. He has expertise in kidney and multiorgan transplantation (pancreas, liver, heart) and has served in the capacity of UNOS certified Medical Director at several institutions. Dr. Rubin has trained multiple individuals in both nephrology and kidney transplantation and has received several teaching awards. He retired from active practice in 2017 but has remained active in nephrology and transplant education at local and national institutions and organizations.
Dr. Kassem Safa is an associate transplant nephrologist at the Transplant Center at Massachusetts General Hospital since 2015 and an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as the Kidney Transplant Program Associate Director for Living Donation.
Dr. Safa received his medical degree from the Lebanese University School of Medicine and completed internal medicine residency at the Saint Raphael Campus of the Yale New Haven Hospital. He trained in nephrology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital joint fellowship program. He completed transplant nephrology fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr Safa is a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology and the American Society of Transplantation and is a recipient of several teaching awards during residency, fellowship, as well as a faculty member. He has written numerous articles and book chapters; his interests include clinical transplantation, living donor kidney transplantation, and the effect of dietary habits on the immune system.
Challenging the status quo in nephrology and nephropathology
Why is XYZ?” is a GlomCon Special by Dr. Helmut Rennke to stimulate critical debate about the limitation of historical conventions, dogmas, and fallacies in nephrology and nephropathology.
Dr. Helmut G. Rennke is a professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and director of the renal pathology and electron microscopy laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He obtained his MD from the University of Chile Medical School followed by an internship and residency in pathology at Hospital del Salvador in Santiago. He then completed a fellowship in pathology at the University of Kiel in Germany, residencies at the Mallory Institute of Pathology at Boston City Hospital and at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and a research fellowship in pathology under Manjeri Venkatachalam and Ramzi S. Cotran. He has remained in the Department of Pathology what is now the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
His early experimental research focused on various pathophysiological aspects of the disease of the kidney, in particular the molecular determinants of the permeability of macromolecular transport across the glomerular capillary wall. These studies revealed that the molecular charge and configuration, in addition to size, are key factors in the glomerular permeability to proteins and important determinants for the localization of antigens within the glomerular capillary wall and the clinical and structural expression of immune complex-mediated glomerular diseases. In a large series of experimental studies on renal ablation done in collaboration with members of micropuncture laboratory headed by Barry Brenner, this group showed that the progression of chronic kidney disease is in part due to compensatory structural and hemodynamic adaptations and podocyte hypertrophy that are part of a positive-feedback loop that results in the obsolescence of filtering capillaries and irreversible focal and segmental and eventually global glomerulosclerosis. Additional experimental studies on acute kidney failure established the relevance of vasoconstriction in the initiation and maintenance of acute tubular necrosis.
He has been teaching renal pathophysiology at Harvard Medical School and at the Harvard-MIT Program on Health Sciences and Technology since the late ’70s and renal pathology and pathophysiology at various post-graduate courses for nephrologists since the 1980’s. As director of the Renal Pathology Fellowship Program he has participated in the training of more than 50 renal pathologists from the US and abroad and many generations of nephrology fellows. He has been the recipient of the Jacob Churg Award from the Renal Pathology Society and the Premio Victor R Miatello of the Latin American Society of Nephrology and Hypertension.
This collaborative series brings together two successful organizations with a common goal of improving and disseminating the knowledge of glomerular kidney diseases. The Renal Pathology Society promotes excellence in diagnosis and research and encourages training and education in renal disease to its members worldwide. This series’ curriculum focuses on practical aspects in nephropathology and research in renal pathology, including new technologies applied to renal pathology such as image analytics, machine learning, multi-‘omics, and computational pathology approaches to renal biopsy analyses. Through this collaboration, both organizations have committed to promoting excellence in the diagnosis of glomerular disease and to bringing breakthrough innovations in this field to the GlomCon community.
Together with the International Society of Nephrology (ISN), we introduced this “Mini Seminar Series” developed in partnership between ISN and GlomCon to foster a collaborative learning experience provided by expert faculty across the globe.
A collaborative “Roundtable Discussion” between GlomCon and the European Renal Association to enhance cross-Atlantic exchange, stimulate educational and scientific collaboration, and highlight the latest developments in glomerular diseases and nephrology.
This series is a Joint Venture between GlomCon and NephCure Kidney International. It is designed to be a catalyst for the exchange of ideas, raising awareness, and providing education about clinical trials in nephrology.