2017 Keynote Speakers & Program


WEBS 2017 Program


Michael CaplanMichael Caplan, PhD, MD, C.N.H. Long Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and Professor of Cell Biology; Chair, Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University

“Novel Pathways and Therapeutic Targets in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease”

Michael J. Caplan is the C.N.H. Long Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and Professor of Cell Biology at the Yale University School of Medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1980, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University in 1987, working in the laboratories of Drs. J.D. Jamieson and G.E. Palade. He joined Yale’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology as a faculty member in 1988. He has received fellowships from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation for Science and Engineering and a National Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. He has received the Young Investigator Awards from the American Physiological Society and the American Society of Nephrologists, and has delivered the American Physiological Society’s Carl W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lectureship. He has been elected to membership in the American Association of Physicians and has also been very honored to receive Yale University School of Medicine’s Bohmfalk Prize for teaching and to be selected as the first recipient of Yale University’s Award for Postdoctoral Mentorship. His scientific work focuses on understanding the ways in which epithelial cells communicate with one another to generate and maintain their unique structures. His laboratory also studies Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease, a prevalent and serious genetic disorder and a major cause of kidney failure. The Caplan laboratory is working to understand the mechanisms responsible for this condition and to identify targets for new therapies.

Pluznick_JenniferJennifer Pluznick, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physiology, Johns Hopkins University

“Role of Kidney Olfactory Receptors and Short-Chain Fatty Acids in the Control of Blood Pressure”

Dr. Pluznick is an Assistant Professor of Physiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. After completing her PhD work on renal potassium channels at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2005, Dr. Pluznick did her postdoctoral studies at Yale University where she uncovered a novel role for olfactory receptors as chemosensors in renal physiology. Dr. Pluznick’s current research centers around the novel roles that ‘understudied’ G-protein coupled receptors, including olfactory receptors, play in renal physiology. Among her interests are a duo of receptors (Olfr78 and Gpr41) that have been localized to the renal and cardiovascular system and which both are ‘sensors’ for gut microbial metabolities. Thus, an ongoing focus on the lab is to understand the roles of Olfr78, Gpr41, and the gut microbiome in blood pressure regulation. Dr. Pluznick has received numerous awards for her work, including the Renal Section New Investigator Award (2015), the Shih-Chun Wang Young Investigator Award (2015), and the Laz Mandel Young Investigator Award (2016) from the American Physiological Society. In addition, her work is well-funded by the NIDDK, NHLBI and AHA.