Fernando C. Fervenza, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Mayo Nephrology Collaborative Group (MNCG).
Through his work with the MNCG, he has been pursuing patient-oriented research projects in the area of parenchymal renal diseases, with an aim of bringing new bench research discoveries to the bedside treatment of patients with these diseases.
Dr. Fervenza's current projects include a number of interventional studies that represent important steps in transferring bench research discoveries to the patient's bedside, with the potential for benefiting many patients afflicted with these formidable diseases.
These projects are investigating new treatments for glomerular diseases, such as membranous nephropathy, IgA glomerulonephritis, focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis, lupus nephritis, and ANCA-associated vasculitis.
These studies are evaluating the effectiveness of various drugs that work against the body's abnormal autoimmune response, as many of the diseases that lead to kidney failure often do their damage through the autoimmune system. In addition, studies conducted by the MNCG are helping with the understanding of the role of a number of pathogenic antibodies and their response to therapy.
Significance to patient care
Until recently, treatment was unsatisfactory for most patients with renal parenchymal diseases. However, recent advances have shed significant light on the understanding of the pathogenic processes involved in some of these diseases.
Similarly, developments in biotechnology have resulted in the availability of a significant number of new and very promising agents that may be beneficial to patients with autoimmune diseases involving the kidneys.
This is a crucial moment — years of promising laboratory research are ready to be put to the test by conducting prospective studies aimed at treating these patients using novel approaches to therapy. The aim is to achieve today the promise of tomorrow.
- Fellow — American Society of Nephrology, National Kidney Foundation and American College of Physicians
- Member, Nephrology Section, American Board of Internal Medicine