Nan and Hugh Cullman Eminent Professor
Director, UNC Kidney Center
Chairman, Department of Medicine
Specialty Areas: Glomerular disease; Lupus; Vasculitis; ANCA-mediated Vasculitis
Chronology: BA Cum Laude: Dartmouth College, 1973; MD: University of North Carolina, 1977; Resident: University of North Carolina, 1977; Resident: University of North Carolina, 1978-80; Nephrology Fellow: University of North Carolina, 1980-1; Pediatric Nephrology Research Fellow: University of Minnesota, 1981-4; Chief: University of North Carolina Medical School Division of Nephrology and Hypertension; Director: University of North Carolina Kidney Center, 2004-Present
Dr. Falk’s research probes questions focused on immune mediated kidney diseases, especially glomerulonephritis. His clinical and basic science interests include both ANCA glomerulonephritis and small vessel vasculitis (SVV). A central objective of Falk’s research is elucidating the causes of ANCA necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis. Unraveling the cause of this disease requires considering a number of factors involved in the devolpment of ANCA glomerulonephritis. Falk conceptualizes this process as opening the vasculitis lock with a key that has a number of “ridges and valleys” analogous to those factors that contribute to the development of this autoimmune disease.
Dr. Falk participates in a research group that, in a large study over the last four years has revealed a number of avenues of investigation and new approaches to ongoing questions that pertain not only to ANCA glomerulonephritis, but to the general fields of autoimmunity, inflammation and basic neutrophil and monocyte biology.
Pendergraft III, WF, Preston, GA, Shah R R, Tropsha, A, Jennette, JC, Falk, RJ cPR3105-206, a protein complementary to the human autoantigen Proteinase 3, triggers autoimmunity. Nat Med 10(1):72-79, 2004.
Falk RJ. Treatment of lupus nephritis: work in progress (editorial). N Engl J Med 343(16):1182-3, 2000.
Jennette JC , Falk RJ: Small Vessel Vasculitis. N Engl J Med 338:994, 1998.
Falk RJ, Scheinman J, Phillips G, Orringer E, Johnson A, and Jennette JC: Prevalence and pathologic features of sickle cell nephropathy and response to inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme. N Engl J Med 326:910-915, 1992.
Falk RJ, Terrell RS, Charles LA, Jennette JC: Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies induce neutrophils to degranulate and produce oxygen radicals in vitro. Proc Natl Acad Sci, U.S.A. 87:4115-4119,1990.
Falk RJ, Jennette JC: Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies with specificity for myeloperoxidase in patients with systemic vasculitis and idiopathic necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis. N Engl J Med 318:1651-1657, 1988.
Moss NG, Powell SL and Falk RJ: Intravenous cyclosporine activates afferent and efferent renal nerves and causes sodium retention in innervated kidneys in rats. Proc Nat Acad Sci 2:8222-8226, 1985.
Falk RJ, Dalmasso AP, Youngki K, Lam S and Michael A: Radioimmunoassay of the attack complex of complement in serum from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. N Engl J Med 312:1594-1599, 1985.
Woods JW, Falk RJ, Pittman PW, Klemmer PK, Watson BS, and Namboordiri K. Increased red cell sodium-lithium countertransport in normotensive sons of hypertensive parents. N Engl J Med, 306:593-595, 1982.