News Release

Prize winners announced at ISN's World Congress of Nephrology

Vicente Torres and Jing Zhou recognized for advancing critical insight into polycystic kidney disease through research of excellence

Grant and Award Announcement

International Society of Nephrology

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The 2007 Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize Winners announced at the ISN’s World Congress of Nephrology - a celebration of the Foundation’s 25 years of "Help and Hope"

Vicente Torres and Jing Zhou recognized for advancing critical insight into Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) through research of excellence.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 23, 2007 – The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) today announced Vicente Torres, Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension (Mayo Clinic – USA) and Jing Zhou, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Harvard Center of Polycystic Kidney Disease Research (Harvard University Medical School – USA), as the 2007 winners of the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize.

Honoring Vicente Torres’ seminal contribution at both the clinical and experimental levels of PKD research, his years of dedication to the field have recently culminated in describing the efficacy of vasopressin receptor antagonists in mouse models of PKD. His outstanding efforts serving on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Polycystic Kidney Research Foundation (PKRF) have also been instrumental to advancing the field. Upon receiving the prize Torres expressed his gratitude and sense of optimism toward the future, "It is a great honor to receive this prize. I would like to thank Mr. Thomas Kaplan and the Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation for this award and the generous support of PKD research as well as both the ISN and the PKD Foundation for sponsoring this event… we are closer than ever today to finding a solution to this disease."

Jing Zhou’s work, described by Kaplan as ‘momentous’ has contributed to important breakthroughs within the field such as the first pkd1 knockout mice revealing the roles of the PKD 1 protein, polycystin-1 in embryonic development, as well as the finding that polycystin-2 homologue, polycystin-L, was a calcium-permeable non-selective cation channel. Describing the critical links between calcium, cilia and the cell cycle, Jing Zhou and her group have undoubtedly and fundamentally helped to alter PKD research and attract essential interest from researchers from other related specialties.

Commenting on the future directions toward combating the disease Kaplan expressed the ongoing dedication of the Foundation and his positive outlook for research over the coming years, "We are committed to finding ways to spur interest and investment in finding a solution to this disease… I think it is entirely reasonable that in forthcoming years we will see breakthroughs in research and treatment."



  1. Created in 2002, the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for the Advancement in the Understanding of PKD was established through the generosity of Mr. Thomas Kaplan of New York in honor of his mother Lillian Jean Kaplan who died of polycystic kidney disease. The prize was created to recognize those who have increased the understanding and treatment of PKD and to stimulate interest in advancing research that will lead to new treatments and a cure for the disease.
  2. The International Society of Nephrology is a not-for-profit society whose mission is the global advancement of nephrology. The Society promotes research and education to prevent and treat kidney disease throughout the world. Further information is available at:, or by contacting the ISN's Global Headquarters: +32-2-743 1546, Email:

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