About Us     Divisions     Centers     Education     Patient Care     Research     MedNet     Alumni     Calendar     Home  


Physicians & Surgeons
Room 10-421
630 West 168th St.
New York, NY   10032

Phone: 212 305 3512

-Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
-Department of Medicine
-Division of Nephrology
-Department of Physiology

Insurance Plans
Blue Choice PPO
Blue Cross Prestige
Blue Cross Senior

Hospital Affiliations
New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Qais Al-Awqati, M.B., Ch.B.
Robert F. Loeb Professor of Medicine

Research Summary
Epithelial Cell Biology, Kidney Development, Stem Cells.

Research Activities
Epithelial Differentiation During development epithelia cells are generated from non-epithelial stem cells. These epithelia all have tight junction and apical and basal polarity. Mature epithelia however are easy to recognize as being tissue-specific. This implies that a second differentiation signal is needed to specify these terminally differentiated phenotypes. We have discovered a pathway for terminal differentiation of epithelia cells. Starting with a kidney cell line, we found that an extracellular matrix protein, which we termed hensin induces terminal differentiation in epithelial cells. This protein is expressed in most epithelia. Hensin requires to be localized in the matrix to bind to tis receptor. Knockout of hensin caused defects in the terminal differentiation of the earliest embryonic epithelia.

Kidney Development During nephrogenesis, a set of mesenchyma cells convert to epithelia and then segment to form the nephron. We are studying the processes that generate and determine the segment identity and the number of nephrons.

Stem Cells We have recently identified that the mature kidney contains stem cells. We are presently isolating these stem cells with a view towards characterizing their transcriptional program.

Positions & Appointments
1987-present Robert F. Loeb Professor of Medicine Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons New York, NY
1983-present Professor of Physiology Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons New York, NY
1983-present Professor of Medicine Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons New York, NY
1981-83 Associate Professor of Medicine Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons New York, NY
1977-81 Associate Professor of Physiology Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons New York, NY

Education and Training
1962 M.B.,Ch.B University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
1965-1967 Resident in Medicine Republican Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq
1967-1968 Fellow in Medicine Baltimore City Hospital, Baltimore, MD
1968-1969 Resident in Medicine Baltimore City Hospital, Baltimore, MD
1969-1970 Fellow in Medicine Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
1970-1971 Fellow in Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Honors and Awards
2005 Stevens Triennial Prize. Columbia University College of P & S.
2005 Fellow,American Academy of Arts & Sciences
2006 Distinguished Achievement Award University of Iowa, Dept of Medicine
2007 Homer W. Smith Award; American Society of Nephrology
2008 Ewig Clinical Scholar Award Columbia University, Dept of Medicine
2009 The Harvey Lecture;The Harvey Society
2010 Princess Liliane of Belgium Award Princess Liliane Foundation
2010 Robert W Berliner Award. American Physiological Society, Renal Excellence in Renal Physiology Section

Committees and Society Memberships
1972 American Society of Nephrology (Chairman Committee, Program of Annual Meeting year 2001)
1972 International Society of Nephrology
1972 American Federation for Clinical Research
1974 Society of General Physiologists
1975 American Physiological Society
1975 Central Society for Clinical Research
1977 Salt and Water Club (Secretary 1982?1985)
1978 American Society for Clinical Investigation
1980-85 NIH Physiology Study Section
1984 American Society of Cell Biology
1986 Association of American Physicians
1989 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
1991-95 Research Committee, American Heart Association/NYC Chapter
1991 Interurban Clinical Club
1992-‘97. Scientific Advisory Board on Intramural Research, NIDDKD
1994 Practitioners Society of New York

Special Interests
Epithelial Cell biology
Ion channels
Development of the Kidney

Selected Publications:
1. Oliver JA, Barasch J, Yang J, Herzlinger D, Al-Awqati Q. (2002 ) Metanephric mesenchyme contains embryonic renal stem cells. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 283(4):F799-809

2. Al-Awqati Q. (2003) Terminal differentiation of intercalated cells: the role of hensin. Annu Rev Physiol :567-83

3. Al-Awqati Q, Oliver JA. (2002) Stem cells in the kidney. Kidney Int 61(2):387-95

4. Schwartz GJ, Tsuruoka S, Vijayakumar S, Petrovic S, Mian A, Al-Awqati Q. (2002) Acid incubation reverses the polarity of intercalated cell transporters, an effect mediated by hensin. J Clin Invest 109(1):89-99

5. Hikita C, Vijayakumar S, Takito J, Erdjument-Bromage H, Tempst P, Al-Awqati Q. (2000) Induction of terminal differentiation in epithelial cells requires polymerization of hensin by galectin 3. J Cell Biol 151(6):1235-46

6. Al-Awqati Q. (1999) One hundred years of membrane permeability: does Overton still rule? Nat Cell Biol 1(8):E201-2

HS Library        CubMail        Find People        Directions/Maps        Visitor Information        Gift Opportunities        Jobs        Contact Us
CUMC Home   |   At Columbia University   |   Affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital   |   Comments