2017 ASPN Founders’ Award Recipients

Congratulations to the  2017 ASPN Founders’ Award Recipients

Drs. Sharon Perlman, H. William Schnaper, and Sandra Watkins

Please join us at the ASPN Awards Luncheon on Sat. May 6th in San Francisco

Sharon Perlman is an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, Fl.  She received her medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, completed residencies in pediatrics at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston and at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals in Atlanta, and pediatric nephrology fellowship training at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.  Dr. Perlman has spent most of her career in the Department of Pediatrics at USF where, until recently, she was medical director of the Dialysis Unit at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL.

Dr. Perlman has been very active in ASPN, having served on the Public Policy Committee for several years prior to being elected to serve on Council and then as Treasurer, Secretary-Treasurer, President-elect, and then as Councilor.

Dr. Perlman has also been active with our sister society, the Renal Physicians Association, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors.

H. William Schnaper– Bill Schnaper received his BA in Philosophy from Yale University and his MD from the University of Maryland. He was Resident and Chief Resident in Pediatrics at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City before spending 2 volunteer years in the National Health Service Corps. He trained as a Fellow in Pediatric Nephrology at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and then remained there on the faculty for 7 years before moving to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he also worked in the Laboratory of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Dental Research. In 1994, he joined the Pediatrics faculty of Northwestern University and Children’s Memorial Hospital (now the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago), where presently he is Irene Heinz Given and John LaPorte Given Professor of Pediatric Research.

Bill’s lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms of chronic, progressive kidney disease. He is Medical Editor for the American Board of Pediatrics Subboard in Nephrology. In the ASPN, he served on Council from 2000-2014, including terms as Secretary-Treasurer and President. His current professional goals involve promoting faculty career development and working to enhance the pipeline of new treatments for pediatric kidney disease. He lives in Wilmette, IL, with his wife Maria, enjoys his three children and 7 grandchildren, and plays bass in a rock band and a klezmer band.

Sandra Watkins– Born in Washington DC to a career military family, she lived many places around the country, ultimately graduating from the University of Colorado with a BA in chemistry in 1972.  At the University of Colorado, she was awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate in Analytical Chemistry.  She and her husband, Dale, lived in Boulder, Colorado where their two children were born.  After the children started school she continued her education, graduating from the University of Texas at Houston Medical School in 1981. At UTMSH she graduated AOA and was the Outstanding Student in Pediatrics as well as the Walter G. Sterling Award recipient as the Outstanding Medical Student in her class.  She completed her Pediatrics Residency at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital in 1984, serving as the Assistant Chief Resident.  She completed her Fellowship in Internal Medicine and Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital in 1986. She began her faculty career there attending at University Hospital, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Northwest Kidney Center, and Harborview Hospital 1984-2009.  She also held Outreach Clinics in Montana and Alaska.


American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
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Larry E. Fleischman, MD (2016)

A fond farewell to a dear friend and a colleague
Tej K. Mattoo and Rudolph P. Valentini
Nephrology team at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan/Wayne State University

Dr. Larry E. Fleischmann, MD, a pioneering Pediatric Nephrologist, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Wayne State University, and the past president of Children’s Hospital of Michigan, died on December 23, 2016 at the age of 79. Larry was one of the first pediatric nephrologists in the country. He did his MD in 1963 at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, followed by Residency in Pediatrics at the same institution. He spent two years at The National Institutes of Health in Dr. Fredrick Bartter’s Lab. Larry joined Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM)/ Wayne State University (WSU) in 1967 as Chief Resident and Instructor in Pediatrics. In 1969, he became Board certified in Pediatrics and in 1974 he was in the first batch of Sub-Board examination for Pediatric Nephrology.

Larry’s career at CHM spanned 48 years. In 1969, he established the 1st Pediatric End-Stage Renal Disease program in the State of Michigan. This included dialysis facilities for children, which he started in a converted sewing room in hospital basement.  Soon after, in 1970, he initiated the first cadaveric kidney transplant program in the State. During his tenure, Larry had numerous leadership roles, which included Chief of Nephrology, Director of Pediatric Education, Vice-Chair and Interim Chair of Pediatrics, Chief of Staff at CHM, Senior Vice President and President of the CHM, Trustee and Interim President of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. He retired from clinical service at the end of 2015.

Larry was a brilliant clinician and a gifted educator. His fervor for spinning urine samples and doing microscopic examination during clinic visits and teaching the same to others was inspiring. Larry trained generations of medical students and pediatric nephrologists.  He was a wonderful colleague and a delightful human being with an incredible sense of humor and a unique knack of being blunt when appropriate.  Larry was also an avid and a competitive golfer throughout his adult life and won many championships. A loyal member of the Detroit Golf Club, he was pleased that he could pursue his profession yet remain competitive at “a pretty fast track.” Traveling to Cape Cod for the American Seniors Golf Association Clam Bake tournament was a pleasure he looked forward to every year. Larry’s other passion that he shared with this wife was thoroughbred horse racing.

During his career, Larry received numerous awards. These include, the School of Medicine’s “Pathfinders in Medicine” award, the College of Nursing’s “Lifeline Award”, the University of Detroit’s  ” Science Alumnus of the Year” award, the Kidney Foundation’s “Champion of Hope” award, and the March of Dimes “Humanitarian of the Year” award. In recognition of his distinguished career at CHM, last year the hospital named its dialysis center after him as the “Larry E. Fleischman M.D. Pediatric Dialysis Center”. The dedication ceremony was attended by Larry and his family and friends.
Larry is survived by his beloved wife Pat (Margaret), who he met at high school and was married to for 59 years, three sons and two grandchildren.

We are profoundly grateful for all Larry did for all of us, our program and the institution. We are far richer to have known him and will miss him dearly.

Memorial donations can be made to the Larry E. Fleischmann Nephrology Education Endowment Fund at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation http://chmfoundation.org/

Sharon A. Perlman-Frankel, MD (2016)

June 30, 1953 – December 11, 2016

Sharon A. Perlman, MD, a brilliant physician and compassionate human being, passed away at age 63 on December 11, 2016 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Sharon was an extraordinarily dedicated and effective leader of ASPN

Sharon was born on June 30, 1953 and raised in Weehawken, New Jersey. She graduated from Bard College and received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. She was the Chief Resident in Pediatrics at Emory University and completed her fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

Sharon initially practiced pediatric nephrology at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) in Augusta, and then spent 6 years in private practice pediatric nephrology in St. Petersburg and Tampa. She joined the University of South Florida (USF) Division of Pediatrics in 1994, and served as the Medical Director of the Dialysis Unit and Division Director of Nephrology at All Children’s Hospital for more than 20 years. She was the Chief of Staff at All Children’s Hospital from 2008-2009. Sharon received a “Teacher of the Year Award” at MCG and three “Attending Physician of the Year” awards at USF, and also received the Councill C. Rudolph Award from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Medical Staff. In 2015, USF Department of Pediatrics established the Sharon A. Perlman Award of Excellence to be awarded to a graduating resident for excellence in patient care, strength of character, and outstanding leadership.

Sharon was extremely active in the leadership of ASPN. She served on the ASPN council from 2006-2016 and was a Secretary-Treasurer and President-Elect of ASPN. Sharon’s illness prevented her from serving as ASPN President, but she nonetheless continued her dedicated work for the Society. Sharon’s contributions through membership on the Renal Physician’s Association Board, the AMA Practice Improvement Group for Pediatric Nephrology and Kidney Care Partners were invaluable. Her many contacts in, and knowledge of, Congress have been instrumental in our public policy work, and her contributions to the JELF Scholars program at multiple levels–practical, emotional and financial–have been essential to its success. Most of all, Sharon’s ongoing commitment to the missions of ASPN have been paramount. That she has accomplished all that she has for us, while functioning as a pure clinician in a virtually non-academic practice, is remarkable. Sharon’s contributions to ASPN were recognized this year by her receiving the ASPN Founder’s Award, the highest honor that can be given to a member of our society.

Sharon was an avid adventurer and scuba diver. She traveled the world, mostly to explore the undersea treasures. She rescued Greyhounds and was part of the initial Pet Therapy Program with her Greyhounds at All Children’s Hospital, bringing joy to the patients and staff.

Dr. Perlman is survived by her loving and adoring husband, Ron Frankel, two daughters, Jaymie and Meagen, two beautiful grandchildren, Jackson and Allison, her two sisters, Lauren and Robin, and many nephews and nieces.


William E. Harmon, MD (2016)

July 31, 1943 – May 29, 2016

The American Society of Pediatric Nephrology mourns the loss of Dr. William E. Harmon, who passed away on May 29 2016 at the age of 72 after a prolonged battle with melanoma.

The magnitude and depth of Bill Harmon’s impact on pediatric nephrology, kidney transplantation and dialysis cannot be measured, but continues to advance our field through the initiatives he created, the fellows he trained and the lives of our patients he improved.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Bill completed his medical degree at Case Western Reserve University. His post-graduate training in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology were completed at the Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University. He then stayed on to undertake a storied career which led him from Instructor to tenured Professor of Pediatrics and the Director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at these institutions. Bill was appointed the founding Director of Dialysis and the founding Medical Director of Pediatric Transplantation at Boston Children’s, positions he held with distinction for almost three decades. He worked tirelessly at the local, national, and international levels for the importance of specialized pediatric caretakers for children with ESRD. Bill held leadership positions in many national organizations including the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the American Society of Transplantation (AST), and the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Study (NAPRTCS). He served as President of the pediatric committee of UNOS, as President of the AST in 2002-2003, and served as the President of NAPRTCS from 2002-2015.

Bill’s academic activities were focused on all aspects of pediatric dialysis and renal transplantation, training and mentoring, and education. He was the recipient of many national grants from the National Institutes of Health, and published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, invited reviews, and chapters. He served as an editor for the fourth through seventh editions of the standard reference text in the field, Pediatric Nephrology (1999-2016). He delivered over 150 invited lectures and seminars in the United States, Europe and Asia. Bill directed the pediatric nephrology training program at Boston Children’s, and his trainees have achieved national and international leadership positions. Bill received lifetime achievement awards for his many contributions from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2007 (Henry L. Barnett Award) and the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology in 2013 (Founders’ Award). At his acceptance speech for the ASPN Founder’s Award a few years ago, he reminded us that “we are privileged to be in a position to take care of children”. Bill never took that privilege lightly.

Bill will be dearly missed by his patients, his trainees, and his colleagues. His family has set up a website to celebrate his life and accomplishments:

Charles Plante (2015)

Charles L. Plante, a lobbyist for the National Kidney Foundation who was credited with playing a pivotal role in enacting the legislation that authorized Medicare coverage for dialysis treatments for kidney disease patients, died Dec. 21 at his home in Middleburg, Va. He was 84.

August 8, 1931 – December 21, 2015

Russell Wallace Chesney, MD (2015)

– A Fond Farewell
Aaron Friedman and Robert Wyatt

Russell Wallace Chesney   MD died on April 2, 2015 in Memphis Tennessee. He was 73 years old. Russell, or as many called him Russ, was a major figure in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology for over 40 years. Born August 25, 1941 in east Tennessee, he was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee and completed his secondary education at St Andrew’s School in Delaware. Russell received a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his MD degree from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. He began his medical research career at the University of Rochester and while completing an internship and residency in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University, he continued his research training at the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, Maryland. From Johns Hopkins, he moved to McGill University in Montreal, Canada where he completed fellowships in pediatric nephrology and genetics. He trained with great mentors such as Jordan Cohen, Bertram Sacktor, Barton Childs, Robert Cooke, Harold Harrison, Keith Drummond and Charles Scriver. In 1975, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, moving in 1985 to the University of California, Davis and then, in 1988, he became professor and Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee and the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. He served in those roles at the University of Tennessee and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital until his return to the faculty of the University of Tennessee in 2011.

Dr. Chesney contributed to the advancement of pediatrics and pediatric nephrology at a local, national and international level. He was an excellent clinician and superb academician. Dr. Chesney published over 360 original manuscripts, nearly 180 book chapters and numerous letters to editors and abstracts. Throughout his career, he was sought after speaker across the globe. His areas of contribution included, pediatrics, nephrology, education and workforce development. We would like to cite a few examples of the importance and breadth of his contributions.

In the late 1970’s, Dr. Chesney and his colleagues were among the first to publish the use of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 in children to treat the hypocalcemia, bone disease and the growth failure of renal osteodystrophy [1-3]. He continued to work in this area of interest and on rickets, in general, throughout his career. His basic science laboratory interest was in the developmental aspects of amino acid transport in the kidney. He used taurine as his “model” amino acid. He published extensively on this subject with his earliest taurine transport publication in 1979 [4] and his most recent publication in 2013[5]. In 1980, Dr. Chesney was one of the first to describe the use of the antihypertensive, [angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor] captopril, in children [6]. He teamed with his wife, Joan Chesney MD, to provide one of the earliest descriptions of toxic shock syndrome and its many clinical manifestations [7,8]. He published widely on hemolytic uremic syndrome [9], fluid and electrolyte management and workforce development in North America, in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology. Over the past decade, Dr. Chesney served as study chair of the NIDDKD supported Randomized Intervention for Children With Vesicoureteral Reflux (RIVUR) [10].   He was brilliant but also continuously curious, always asking why and encouraging others to heighten their own curiosity and to act on their questions.

The above contributions would, for most, be a truly remarkable career.   But Dr. Chesney took on, very successfully, leadership positions at local, national and international levels. He was the Chair of a large, diverse and successful Pediatrics Department and part of the leadership team at a very well respected Children’s Hospital. He was a leader within: the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology [ASPN] and was its President [1985]; the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research and served as it President [1986-1987]; the Society for Pediatric Research [SPR] as President [1987]; the American Pediatric Society [APS] as President [2003-2004]; the American Society of Pediatric Department Chairs as President [2001-2003]. He served the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] as Chair of its Council on Pediatric Education [1989-1992] and as Chair of the Committee on Pediatric Research [1999-2004]. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the American board of Pediatrics and was its Chair [2001]. He was a leader of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association [IPNA] and editor of our journal, Pediatric Nephrology from 1997-2004. We all turned to Russell for his wisdom and insights and he gave of himself, tirelessly, throughout his career.

Dr. Chesney was honored for his many contributions with the Meade Johnson Award [SPR] in 1985; The Joseph St Geme Award given by the Federation of Pediatric Organization in the USA [2001]; the Ira Greifer Award from IPNA in [2010]; the Tennessee Chapter of the AAP Lifetime Achievement Award [2011] and highest award in pediatrics in the United States, the Howland Award from the APS in 2011.

Dr. Chesney’s career was truly remarkable. He did so much and did it so well. We will remember him, not only for what he did, but also for his personal qualities. Everyone knew Russell- from his publications and lectures, from his ubiquitous presence at meetings and his erudite questions. We know him for his prodigious knowledge and his exceptional memory. What is amazing is that we all felt Russell knew us. He was approachable, willing to listen and help and generous with his time and ideas. Many considered Russell a mentor and one who influenced them and helped them succeed. Joan Chesney said of Russell, ” He does not take himself seriously but he takes what he does very seriously.”

We are profoundly grateful for all Russell did for us, lucky to have had the work with or learn from him and saddened to lose him.


1 Chesney RW, Horowitz SD, Kream BE, Eisman JA, Hong R, DeLuca HF. Failure of conventional doses of 1 alpha dihydroxy cholecalciferol to correct hypocalcemia in a girl with idiopathic hypoparathyroidism. N Eng J Med 297: 1272-1275, 1977.

2 Chesney RW. 1,25 vitamin D3 in reversal of secondary hyperparathyroidism in uremic osteodystrophy. N Eng J Med 298: 1424-1425, 1978

3 Chesney RW, Moorthy AV, Eisman JA, Jax DK, Mazess RB, DeLuca HF. Increased growth after long term oral 1 alpha, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 in childhood renal osteodystrophy. N Eng J Med 298:238-242, 1978.

4 Chesney RW, Jax DK, Developmental aspects of renal beta amino acid transport I: Ontogeny of taurine reabsorption and accumulation in rat renal cortex. Pediatr Res. 13:854-860, 1979

5 Han X, Chesney RW. Knockdown of TauT expression impairs human embryonic kidney 293 cell development. Ad Exp Med Biol 776:307-320, 2013.

6 Friedman AL, Chesney RW, Ball D, Goodfriend T. Effective use of captopril [angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor] in severe childhood hypertension. J Pediatr 17:664-667, 1980

7 Chesney PJ, Chesney RW, Purdy WK, Davis JP. Toxic Shock Syndrome in the United States MMWR 29:229-236, 1980

8 Chesney JP, Davis JP, Purdy WK, Ward PJ, Chesney RW. Clinical manifestation of toxic shock syndrome. JAMA 246:741-748,1981

9 Kaplan BS, Chesney RW, Drummond KN. Hemolytic uremic syndrome in families. N Engl J Med 292: 1090-1093, 1975

10 RIVUR Trial Investigators, Hoberman A, Greenfield SP, Mattoo TK, Keren R, Mathews R, Pohl HG, Kropp BP, Skoog SJ, Nelson CP, Moxey-Mims M, Chesney RW, Carpenter MA.. Antimicrobial prophylaxis for children with vesicoureteral reflux, N Engl J Med 370: 2367-2376, 2014