Gary V. Desir, MD, chair of internal medicine, has pursued his interest in kidney function and disease since earning his medical degree at Yale School of Medicine. The single-minded focus paid off in 2005 when Dr. Desir and fellow researchers discovered renalase, a kidney (renal) protein that plays a role in regulating cardiovascular function.
“A renal fellow and I were caring for patients suffering from kidney disease and cardiovascular-related complications,” Dr. Desir says. “That was the inspiration for looking into the connection between kidney and heart disease. And that search led us to the discovery of renalase.”
At Yale New Haven Hospital, Dr. Desir also serves as the chief of internal medicine. He continues to devote a significant amount of time to kidney research at his lab at the Yale School of Medicine, where he is the Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine. An advocate of diversity, Dr. Desir co-founded the Minority Organization for Retention and Expansion (MORE) group at the medical school, with a goal to increase faculty diversity and provide medical students with a growing social network.