Vishal S. Vaidya is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Environmental Health at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. Vishal leads the Systems Toxicology Program within the Harvard Program in Therapeutic Sciences and directs the Laboratory of Kidney Toxicology and Regeneration in the renal division of Brigham and Women's Hospital. Vishal's laboratory uses cellular systems, mouse models as well as human biospecimens, and applies methodologies at the interface of cell and molecular biology, systems pharmacology, and translational science in understanding kidney disease.
Vishal has delivered more than 50 seminars as invited speaker and written more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, with more than 4,000 citations (h-index of 34). His work supported by an NIH/NIEHS Pathway to Independence grant and, in collaboration with the Predictive Safety Testing Consortium, led to the first kidney toxicity biomarker (Kidney Injury Molecule-1) qualified by the US-FDA and the European Medicines Agency in 2008.
In 2011, Vishal won the NIH/NIEHS Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) award. The ONES-funded project not only led to the identification of urinary fibrinogen as a biomarker for early detection of kidney damage but also demonstrated the therapeutic potential of fibrinogen-derived Bb15-42 peptide, which elicits 50% protection from kidney injury. In 2013, Vishal was selected as one of six North American scientists to win the Innovation in Regulatory Science Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The goal of this project is to develop a high-throughput predictive kidney toxicity method by using tools and technologies at the forefront of quantitative systems pharmacology.
Advancing the biomarker discovery work in his laboratory, they have recently identified a panel of urinary miRNAs as sensitive and mechanistic indicators of kidney injury in humans. This was presented at the 2013 American Society of Nephrology (ASN) conference. In addition, the laboratory's work reporting identification of novel biomarkers for kidney fibrosis was presented at the Keystone Symposium on Fibrosis in March 2014. In recognition of the seminal scientific contributions to the field of Toxicology, Vishal was was awarded the Leading Edge in Basic Science Award at the annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting, also in March 2014.
Vishal is very passionate about mentoring and teaching. Postdoctoral fellows in his lab have won several awards at the Society of Toxicology meeting such as the Renal Toxicology Fellowship award (Dana Hoffmann, Ph.D.); Colgate Palmolive Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (Melanie Adler, Ph.D.), ASIO Best Postdoctoral Research Award (Amrendra Ajay, Ph.D.). Vishal directs the course “Understanding Biomarker Science: From Molecules to Images,” offered through the Harvard Catalyst. The fifth iteration of this course (attended by over 100 participants from academia, industry, the FDA, and NIH) was offered over 4 days in March 2014. Vishal also directs a 5-credit course on Principles of Toxicology-Molecular and Translational Toxicology at HSPH in the Fall (EH504).
Vishal acquired his Ph.D. degree from University of Louisiana in 2003 and completed his fellowship in nephrology from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2007. He was awarded the Novartis Graduate Student Fellowship award from SOT and the National Kidney Foundation grant for his work during the graduate and postdoctoral training respectively. Vishal is also an Associate Faculty at the Harvard University’s Center for Environment and an Affiliate Member of Harvard Stem Cell Institute, member of SOT, ASN and Harvard School of Public Health’s NIEHS center.
Education and Training
- Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune, India, BS Pharmacy, 1994-1998.
- University of Louisiana at Monroe, LA, Ph.D. Toxicology, 1998-2003.
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Postdoctoral training, Nephrology, 2003-2005.
- 07/2005 - 09/2009: Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- 10/2009 - present: Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- 07/2011 - present: Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health
Hospital or Affiliated Institution Appointments
- 11/2006 - present: Associate Biologist, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
- 10/2009 - present: Member, Harvard NIEHS Center, Harvard School of Public Health
- 10/2011 - present: Associate Faculty, Center for Environment, Harvard University
- 10/2012 - present: Affiliate Member, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University
- 07/2013 - present: Leader, Systems Toxicology Program, Harvard Program in Therapeutic Sciences, Harvard Medical School
- 1999: Arthur Furst Award for Student Best Paper, American College of Toxicology.
- 2001 to 2002: Society of Toxicology Graduate Student Fellowship Award sponsored by Novartis.
- 2001: Sigma Xi Grants-in-aid research award ($900).
- 2001: Graduate Student Research Achievement award, The University of Louisiana at Monroe.
- 2002: Best Paper Award (2nd place) from Division of Toxicology, American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), Experimental Biology.
- 2002: Comparative and Veterinary Specialty Section award for best manuscript submitted, Society of Toxicology.
- 2003: Mechanisms Specialty Section's Honorable Mention award for the best manuscript submitted, Society of Toxicology.
- 2003: National Kidney Foundation Post Doctoral Fellowship Award.
- 2005: Risk Assessment Specialty Section best abstract award, Society of Toxicology.
- 2007: Guest Editor, Toxicology, special issue “Biomarkers of Toxicity”, 245 (3), 163-224, 2008.
- 2011: Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award, NIH/NIEHS.
- 2012: American Scientist of Indian Origin Young Investigator Award, Society of Toxicology.
- 2013: Innovation in Regulatory Science Award, Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
- 2014: Leading Edge in Basic Science Award, Society of Toxicology.
- 1999 - present: Member, Society of Toxicology.
- 2006-2009: Career resource and development committee, Society of Toxicology
- 2010-2012: Councilor, Northeast Chapter of Society of Toxicology
- 2011-2014: Member, Continuing Education Committee, Society of Toxicology
- 2005 - present: Member, American Society of Nephrology.