Dr. Gerald F. DiBona has been named the 2008 recipient of the Robert W. Berliner Award for Excellence in Renal Physiology, sponsored by Abbott Laboratories and presented by the Renal Section of the American Physiological Society (APS). Established in 1993, with Carl W. Gottschalk as the first recipient, the Berliner Award is the most prestigious award of the Renal Section. The award annually honors a US citizen who has achieved world renown as a distinguished scientist through major contributions to the field of renal physiology over a lifetime, including accomplishments in research, teaching, training, and activities within the APS. Dr. DiBona will receive the award at the Renal Dinner on Tuesday, April 8, 2008, during the Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego, CA.
A 1964 graduate of the Tufts University School of Medicine, Dr. DiBona completed internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Subsequently, he completed a two-year fellowship in Medicine and Nephrology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 1969, he accepted an Assistant Professor appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, where he quickly rose through the ranks to the level of Professor in 1975. He was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine in 1977, serving in that position for 24 years, and has held a joint appointment as Professor of Physiology and Biophysics since 1997. In 2004, he was named Professor Emeritus in these departments. Over the years, Dr. DiBona completed sabbaticals as Visiting Professor at the University of Oslo, the University of Göteborg, and the Karolinska Institute. He continues his scientific ties to Scandinavia by spending 4–5 months annually as Foreign Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and 1 month each year as Visiting Adjunct Professor at the University of Copenhagen.
Dr. DiBona is a renowned renal physiologist who is best known for his research on neural control of renal function, with these efforts contributing greatly to key concepts of renal fluid and electrolyte homeostasis in health and disease. Dr. DiBona has published more than 270 peer-reviewed manuscripts and review articles, as well as 48 book chapters. He has garnered numerous awards in recognition of his research accomplishments, including an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Göteborg in 1993, the Starling Distinguished Lectureship of the APS Water and Electrolyte Homeostasis Section in 2000, the APS Walter B. Cannon Memorial Lecture in 2005, and the 2002 Novartis Award for Hypertension Research from the American Heart Association.
Dr. DiBona has not only made major scientific advancements in the field of renal physiology but has also made major contributions in the areas of teaching and mentoring young scientists. A number of outstanding scientists trained in his laboratory over the past 30 years, with the list including supervision of 24 postdoctoral fellows and the hosting of 16 sabbaticals by other scientists. His dedication to training a new generation of scientists was best summed up by one of his nominators, who noted, “Even to this day, he is one of the few senior investigators who will take the time to get to know the young investigators in the field. He knows the names of young post-docs in various labs and is keen to do what he can to help them enter the field.”
In addition to his research and mentoring accomplishments, Dr. DiBona has been tireless in his service to the scientific community. He has served on numerous study sections, editorial boards, and advisory committees and has held leadership positions in the American Federation for Clinical Research and the American Society of Hypertension. Dr. DiBona has been an active member of the APS since 1971, serving as a program representative for the Water and Electrolyte Homeostasis Section, as a member of the Publication Committee, and as Chair of the Committee on Committees. In addition, he served a 3-year term as Councillor and was the 73rd President of the Society.
The APS Renal Section's Berliner Award Committee was composed of John D. Imig (Renal Section Awards Committee Chair), Pamela K. Carmines (Renal Section Chair), and Thomas R. Kleyman (Editor, American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology).
- Copyright © 2008 the American Physiological Society