Susan Quaggin, MD, the Charles H. Mayo, MD, Professor and chief of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Medicine, has been elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). She joins the academy’s roster of fellows selected for prolific innovations that have made an impact on the quality of life, economic development or welfare of society.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to join such an esteemed group of scientists,” said Quaggin, who is also director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular and Renal Research Institute (FCVRI). “The recognition is incredibly meaningful and the success belongs to a large team of colleagues, trainees and collaborators I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the past two decades.”
Quaggin first joined Northwestern in 2013 and has worked to close the gap between scientific discovery and patient care for kidney and cardiovascular diseases. Her science has enhanced the understanding of common glomerular diseases and inspired the development of promising therapeutics, including discoveries regarding blood vessels, lymphatics and specialized hybrid circulations.
Specifically, Quaggin and her collaborators discovered how one vascular signaling pathway — the angiopoietin/TIE2 pathway — is essential for development of specialized vessels in the eye and kidney. Loss of this pathway leads to glaucoma, a finding which inspired development of new therapeutics to lower intraocular pressure and treat glaucoma._
“As I join the NAI, I look forward to making new connections and advancing towards new therapies for the patients who inspire me every day in the clinic and on the hospital wards,” Quaggin said.
Quaggin was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2006, the Association of American Physicians in 2013, the National Academy of Medicine in 2019, and was elected president of the American Society of Nephrology in 2021.
The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. The 2021 Fellow class hails from 116 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide.