We are seeking motivated, talented, and creative post-docoral fellows interested in pre-clincal studies that have a direct impact on patient safety and national policy. The research concerns the biologic activities and safety of commonly-used substances in diagnostic radiology: gadolinium-based contrast agents. Millions of doses of gadolinium-based contrast are given every year. In 2006 it was realized that gadolinium-based contrast agents caused a ghastly and irreversible condition termed ‘nephrogenic’ systemic fibrosis. This condition was mainly described in patients with renal insufficiency (acute, chronic, or end-stage). My team was the first to experimentally prove that bone marrow-derived, circulating cells are involved in this disease. Reports have accumulated of a number of patients—many with normal renal function—who suffer from symptoms in the cluster of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis after a dose of gadolinium-based contrast. Exposure to a gadolinium-based contrast agent leads to retention of the metal in the brain (even when the blood-brain barrier is intact). Our research influenced the FDA Medical Imaging Drugs Advisory Committee to amend the prescribing information on all brands of these types of contrast. We have discovered that gadolinium-based contrast agents have biologic effects. This was featured in the Wall Street Journal in September, 2017. Knowledge of the consequences of tissue retention (i.e., brain, lung, heart, kidney, liver, bone, muscle, marrow) of this rare earth metal, though, is at ground zero. This is a perfect opportunity for a post-doctoral fellow to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge that will have an immediate impact on patient health and safety.
Ph.D. in a subject discipline congruent with the subject by the time of the appointment, written and oral communication skills, and—in particular—the ability to work effectively with other people.
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Brent Wagner MD, FASN, FACP
South Texas Veterans Health Care System
Director of the Clinical Nephrology Fellowship Program
Department of Medicine
7703 Floyd Curl Drive, MC 7882
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX 78229