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Irving Smokler, Ph.D.

Board Chairman

Dr. Smokler, a patient parent himself, co-founded NephCure with his wife, Carol, and three other families in 2000. At that time, there was hardly any research into Nephrotic Syndrome, much less any concentrated efforts to discover a cure for these rare and debilitating kidney diseases.

But with Dr. Smokler’s passion and dedication, the path forward for glomerular disease research, and for affected families, has been forever altered. He steered NephCure into becoming a research-focused patient advocacy group, gaining the support of key leaders from Congress, the NIH, and the FDA.

Dr. Smokler enlisted families to share their stories with legislators, who responded by urging NIH to increase funding for FSGS and NS. He presented testimony to the congressional appropriations committees, who then wrote language in their bills increasing support for FSGS and NS research at both the NIH and Department of Defense. He also served on the National Scientific Advisory Board of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which provides scientific direction for the NIH’s NIDDK research portfolio.

Dr. Smokler’s foresight helped lead to the formation of NEPTUNE and CureGN: pivotal, long-term, multi- center observational studies that have provided critical research insights, leading to more efficient clinical trials and paving the way for the current surge in new potential treatments for rare, protein-spilling kidney diseases.

Equally important to Dr. Smokler has been the opportunity that NephCure provides for patient families to come together. Through NephCure, patients have a space to connect and support one another — a crucial need in any rare disease community. Dr. Smokler’s concern for each and every patient and their stories continues to guide NephCure’s work.

NephCure is the organization it is today because of Dr. Smokler, and we’re excited to honor and celebrate his lifetime of achievements at the 2021 Countdown to a Cure in New York.

Boca Raton, Florida

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