the robert w. berliner award for Excellence in Renal Physiology is the most prestigious award of the APS Renal Section. It recognizes distinguished lifetime achievement in renal physiology research. This year's recipient is Heini Murer, PhD, of the University of Zurich (Fig. 1). Professor Murer will be honored at the 2015 Renal Dinner, and will participate in the Renal Section's Posters and Professors Reception at EB 2015 in Boston.
Professor Murer was one of the inventors of methods for making membrane vesicles from the apical and basolateral epithelial cell membranes of the kidney and intestine (Murer H, Hopfer U, Kinne-Saffran E, Kinne R. Glucose transport in isolated brush-border and lateral-basal plasma-membrane vesicles from intestinal epithelial cells. Biochim Biophys Acta 345: 170–179, 1974). This methodology became one of the fundamental techniques of renal transport physiology (along with the isolated, perfused tubule and micropuncture). Studies in these preparations eventually led to an understanding of sodium-coupled solute transport in the proximal tubule and small intestine, and finally were the basis for the cloning of key transporters like NHE3, SGLT2, and NaPi2 and many others. His own studies have focused mostly on the sodium-coupled phosphate transporter NaPi2, and throughout his career he has been the main “guru” of this area of research. He has made one far-reaching discovery after another. For example, using a combination of animal experiments, cell culture studies, vesicle studies and a variety of “molecular probes,” his laboratory was first to document that alterations in renal phosphate handling are related to insertion/retrieval (in part degradation/resynthesis) of “transporter molecules.” Back in the days when there was a scramble to clone cDNAs for every major renal transporter, he cloned and named NaPi2 (among other Na/solute cotransporters). During his career, he has published nearly 500 papers, 47 of which were published in the American Journal of Physiology (AJP). Over the years, his laboratory has seen a steady stream of visitors who came to learn the various methodologies that he perfected. He has been a member of several Editorial Boards including that of Kidney International, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, AJP, Physiological Reviews, Pflügers Archiv (Editor-in-Chief), and Physiology. He has served as President of the Deutsche Nephrologische Gesellschaft and of the Swiss Society of Nephrology. Professor Murer also chaired the program committee of the first World Congress of Nephrology in Berlin. He was the recipient of multiple awards including the Homer W. Smith Award of the American Society of Nephrology and the Carl Gottschalk Lectureship of the APS. A member of the Institute of Physiology of the University of Zurich since 1981, he was awarded the rank of Distinguished Professor in 1996. He was Head of Department for 8 years. He has been Vice-president for Medicine and the Sciences at the University of Zurich until his retirement in 2010 and is now an Emeritus Professor and serves as the Founding and Acting Director of the Graduate Campus of the University of Zürich.
- Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society