PKD docs win top prize

This is only good news. Drs. Vicente Torres and Jing Zhou have won the 2007 Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement in the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease.

These two have dedicated their professional lives to understanding and curing PKD. Dr. Torres’ research led directly to the Tolvaptan trials, while Dr. Zhou has done fundamental research on the malformed cilia found on the kidney cells of PKD patients.

I was lucky enough to shake hands with each of them at the PKD Foundation Conference in Washington, D.C., last June, and to thank them personally for their dedication to this work.

Science is a funny thing. Those who do the best work are often in it primarily for the intellectual challenge — their personal curiosity about how the world works. It’s slow work, and often goes unrecognized. It feels so good to see Drs. Zhou and Torres get this recognition, and the financial prize that goes with it. I hope that word of this prize will help some other researcher, currently debating which field to pursue, decide to focus her efforts on PKD. Adam Smith’s invisible hand helps millions of visible kidneys.

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