Extracorporeal Therapy Advisory Board

Gregory T.A. Kovacs, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Kovacs is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Medicine. He received a BASc degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, an MS degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD and an MD degree from Stanford University. Dr. Kovacs is the Director of Medical Device Technologies for the Astrobionics Program at the NASA Ames Research Center, and Principal Investigator for the NASA/Stanford National Center for Space Biological Technologies. This Center is charged with developing advanced medical devices to enable extended human spaceflight and instrumentation/payloads for biological experiments. Dr. Kovacs also has extensive industry experience including co-founding and providing technical guidance for several companies, including Cepheid in Sunnyvale, CA, supplier of advanced instrumentation for clinical and research nucleic acid diagnostics.  Through Northrup Grumman, Cepheid supplies the automated biothreat detection systems in use by the United States Postal Service.  He is a long-standing member of the Defense Sciences Research Council (DARPA), and has served as Associate Chair and Chairman. In this capacity, he has led or co-led studies on a variety of topics from chemical and biological agent detection and decontamination, miniaturized biological instrumentation, jungle warfare technologies, and many others. Between 2008 and 2011, Dr. Kovacs was on leave from Stanford University to serve as director of the Microsystems Technology Office at DARPA.

Nathan W. Levin, M.D.

Dr. Levin is the Chairman, Research Board of the Renal Research Institute and Professor of Clinical Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Past Medical and Research Director, Renal Research Institute (1997-2010).  Dr. Levin is the Chair of the Selection Committee for the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement in the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). He is the Co-Founder of Sustainable Kidney Care Foundation.  Dr. Levin is an advisor to the Board of KidneyTel.  He has lectured nationally and internationally on topics relating to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hemodialysis. He is the Principal Investigator of the NIH sponsored study of Frequent Dialysis.  Dr. Levin is currently an adjunct Professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the Honorary Chair, Peking University, in Beijing, China.  Dr. Levin contributes to the global CKD community in a variety of functions.

Claudio Ronco, M.D.

Dr. Ronco is Director of the Department of Nephrology at St. Bortolo Hospital in Vicenza.  He is a member of the council of several scientific societies and is Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Artificial Organs.  He has received numerous awards and honors, including the International Medal of Excellence from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and honorary membership of the Spanish Society of Nephrology (SSN).  Dr. Ronco has organized several congresses and meetings in the area of nephrology and intensive care and is a member of several advisory groups for clinical trials and dialysis research.  He has co-authored over 650 papers, 36 book chapters, 45 books and seven monographic journal issues, and has delivered more than 450 lectures at international meetings and universities.  In 1989, Dr. Ronco was awarded his diploma in pediatric nephrology at the University of Naples, having achieved a specialized diploma in medical nephrology at the Post-graduate School of Internal Medicine at the University of Padua in 1979.  He graduated in medicine from the University of Padua, having been an intern at the Institute of Clinical Internal Medicine at the same institution.

David M. Ward, M.D.

Dr. Ward trained in nephrology in Scotland and did a second fellowship in renal immunopathology at Scripps Research Foundation.  Since 1977 he has been a member of the Division of Nephrology at UCSD. He directed the dialysis unit and clinical nephrology program at UCSD for 19 years, and has directed the therapeutic apheresis program for the last 22 years.  At different times he has served the UCSD Medical School as Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs, Chief of Staff of the Hospital, and Chairman of the UCSD Medical Group. Special interests include immunological diseases, glomerular diseases, transplantation medicine, apheresis medicine, hemodialysis technology, innovative extracorporeal blood circuits, and general clinical nephrology. He practices, publishes and teaches in these areas, including authoring chapters in standard textbooks such as "Rheumatology" and "Clinical Dialysis".

Stephen Z. Fadem, M.D.

Dr. Fadem is active as a practicing Houston nephrologist, teacher, lecturer and researcher. He began practice in 1978 after completing a renal fellowship at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and did his internal medicine residency at The University of Texas and MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of medicine. Formerly from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dr. Fadem is married and has three children. 

He is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology and diplomate of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. He has served as the Chairman of the (National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of Southeast Texas Medical Advisory Board, and has received their Lifetime Achievement Award and the Myron L. Jenkins Award. 

On a national level, he is co-chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), and a past vice-president of the AAKP Board of Directors. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Renal Physicians Association, and actively serves on two national RPA committees, the Government Affairs Committee and the Health Finance Committee. Dr. Fadem has been active in the Forum of ESRD Networks was a member of the CMS Clinical Performance Measures Committee. He serves as a consultant to the computer industry in the development of CKD management software and is the founder of Touchcalc, a software design company. He lectures frequently on dialysis management, preventive nephrology, vascular calcification, anemia, patient education, CKD education, computer technology and computer security. Dr. Fadem is on the co-editor of AAKP Renalife, and is a reviewer for several peer reviewed journals.

Dr. Fadem has been nationally recognized, receiving the AAKP Nova Award, the NKF Distinguished Service Award. He has also received the NKF Presidents Award . He has been awarded the Peter Lundin Award for his contributions to patient education and The Visionary Award for his contributions to CKD education. He has been named as one of America's Top Doctors by Castle Connolly and US News and World Report.

Sepsis & Inflammation Advisory Board

Irshad H. Chaudry, Ph.D.

Dr. Chaudry is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal SHOCK®, a leading research publication that reviews novel therapeutic advances to address shock, trauma, sepsis, inflammation, ischemia, and related pathobiological states, with particular emphasis on the biologic mechanisms that determine the response to such injury.  Dr. Chaudry received a B.S. as well as a M.S. with honors from Sind University, and a Ph.D. from Monash University, Australia. After his postdoctoral training atToronto University, Canada, he was appointed Instructor and subsequently an Assistant Professor at the Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. He then moved to Yale University as an Associate Professor and subsequently became a Professor. He moved to Michigan State University in 1986 as Professor and Director of Research and in 1996 became the Director of the Center for Surgical Research at Brown University. In 2000, he became the Director of the Center for Surgical Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery. He has over 500 publications to his credit and is a recipient of the NIH MERIT award.

Larry D. Cowgill, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Dr. Cowgill received his DVM degree from the University of California at Davis and completed his internship and residency training at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a National Institutes of Health Special Research Fellow at the Renal and Electrolyte Section of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and earned a PhD in Comparative Medical Sciences. He is Board Certified in Small Animal Internal Medicine and is Associate Dean for Southern California Clinical Programs, Co-Director of the UC Veterinary Medical Center-San Diego (UCVMC-SD), and Professor in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology. He oversees the Clinical Nephrology programs and the Companion Animal Hemodialysis Units at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at Davis and the UCVMC-SD. Dr. Cowgill has more than 35 years of experience in veterinary internal medicine, nephrology, and teaching and has trained many of the leading veterinary nephrologists throughout the world. He is a pioneer in the application of hemodialysis in companion and remains a leading authority in the development of blood purification therapies for renal diseases in animals and people.

Charles J. Fisher, Jr., M.D.

Dr. Fisher, founder & CEO of Margaux Biologics, Inc., is a physician scientist with a distinguished career in both academia and industry spanning over 30 years.  Prior to joining industry, Dr. Fisher served as Professor and Head of Critical Care Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and has held professor, division chief and director positions at the University of California at Davis Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.  His research in sepsis, host defense and endothelial dysfunction led to his assisting in the founding of Incyte, and his later recruitment to Eli Lilly & Co, where he led the Xigris (activated Protein C) Global Product Team and successfully registered the first drug approved for the treatment of sepsis.  He was recruited to Abbott Laboratories as Vice President for Global Pharmaceutical Development and, among other accomplishments, led the registration of Humira (first fully humanized anti-TNF mab).  Other medical firsts include his contributions to the development of, and later approval of, sTNF:fc (Enbrel, 1st soluble anti-TNF tx) and IL-1ra (Kinneret, 1st anti-IL-1 tx).  Dr. Fisher has numerous patents and publications to his credit.  Prior to founding Margaux Biologics, he was Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Cardiome Pharma Corp. where he led the team that invented, developed, registered and sold to Merck ($800M) vernakalant, a novel, first in class, multi-ion channel drug for atrial fibrillation (Brinavess).

Additionally, Dr. Fisher is a decorated, multi tour combat veteran, with extensive military experience in special operations.  He is a Life Member of the Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA), has served as a member of the Defense Science Research Council and on DARPA panels, including one focused on universal host defense. His unique background of direct patient care, basic and clinical research, on the ground combat experience, and leadership at all levels, has led to an exemplary track record of building teams, delivering results, medical firsts and saving lives.

Geert Schmid-Schönbein, Ph.D

Dr. Schmid-Schonbein is Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering, Adjunct Professor in Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and director of the UCSD Microcirculation Laboratory where he and his team are studying organ injury mechanisms, apoptosis in hypertension, and triggers for inflammation in the blood circulation.  Dr. Schmid-Schonbein earned his Ph.D. in bioengineering from UCSD in 1976. After a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University, he returned to UCSD in 1979 as an assistant professor.  Some of Dr. Schmid-Schonbein's early research discoveries involved the behavior of infection-fighting white blood cells. Using engineering techniques, he made the first determination of the force with which white blood cells adhere to the walls of blood vessels as part of the initial process of inflammation. Later, Dr. Schmid-Schonbein concluded that the survival of an acutely ill patient can hinge on the degree to which white blood cells are activated. Recently his group discovered a mechanism that leads to activation of white blood cells, which is due to digestive enzymes and may cause cardiovascular disease. Among his many distinctions, Dr. Schmid-Schonbein is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Heart Association. He is a founding fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and winner of the Melville Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering.

Cancer Advisory Board