Barbara Ballermann (MD, University of Calgary)

Barbara Ballermann

Professor

Division of Nephrology
13-103 Clinical Sciences


Education

  • MD: University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada - 1976
  • Internal Medicine Residency: Royal Victoria Hospital / McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada - 1979
  • Nephrology Fellowship: Royal Victoria Hospital / McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada - 1981
  • Research Fellowship: Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA - 1983

Following completion of her nephrology training and research fellowships in 1983, Dr. Ballermann was an Instructor in Medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. She then went on to become Assistant Professor in Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec for a short time before returning to Harvard, also as Assistant Professor in Medicine. In 1990 Dr. Ballermann accepted a position as Associate Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, in Baltimore, Maryland. It was during this time she also held a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Pathology at The Johns Hopkins, and went on to become a full Professor of Medicine and Pathology there. In 2000, Dr. Ballermann became Professor of Medicine at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York.

In April of 2003, Dr. Ballermann moved to Edmonton, where she accepted the position of Director of the Division of Nephrology & Immunology in the Department of Medicine. She was attracted to the University of Alberta by its highly progressive research environment and the strong support for basic research by the Alberta Heritage Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. As of January 1, 2004, Dr. Ballermann is Canada Research Chair in Endothelial Cell Biology.

Research

Dr. Ballermann studies Glomerular Endothelial Cell biology. She was the first to ever propagate glomerular endothelial cells in tissue culture and has written a number of key articles in the area of glomerular capillary development and differentiation. Her recent work shows that the glomerular capillary lumen is carved out in the embryo by a process that involves removal of superfluous endothelial cells through programmed cell death. She also has discovered a new signalling pathway in endothelial cells down the non-integrin laminin/prion protein receptor. Dr. Ballermann is keenly interested in disease processes that affect glomerular capillary endothelial cell function, for instance pre-eclampsia and the haemolytic uremic syndrome, as well as the processes that would lead to capillary repair after episodes of glomerulonephritis. So far, some 25 fellows have completed their research training with Dr. Ballermann, and many of them have been able to establish their own independent laboratories in the USA, in Canada and across the world.

Teaching

Dr. Ballermann shares her expertise in renal physiology and pathophysiology by giving lectures at all levels of training, by teaching the mechanism-based approach informally when she attends on the ward and consult services and by writing reviews and book chapters. She transmits great enthusiasm for understanding disease mechanisms and treatment approaches. 

Career Development

Dr. Ballermann is actively engaged in helping fellows in training and the younger division members plan their strategies for successful careers. She recognizes that talents and interests are diverse and that this diversity is key in developing a strong and vibrant division and Canadian Nephrology community. Over many years, she has been engaged in local, national and international programs that seek to strengthen Nephrology Fellowship training strategies across North America.

Professional Development

Dr. Ballermann is a licensed and practicing member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is member of the American Society of Nephrology, the Canadian Society of Nephrology, the International Society of Nephrology, the American Physiological Society and the Kidney Council of the American Heart Association. Over the years, she has served each of these societies by participating in the organization of their meetings and in formulating their mandates. In 1997, she was elected to the membership of the prestigious American Society for Clinical Investigation. For many years, she has served as grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and currently is a member of the Scientific Council and External Reviewer of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Clinical Practice Dr. Ballermann participates in the clinical work of the Division by attending on the Nephrology Ward and Consult services. She has a small General Nephrology outpatient practice.  

Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine
Division of Nephrology
13-103 Clinical Sciences
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6G 2G3

Tel: 780 248-1861

barbara.ballermann@ualberta.ca


Research Description

Dr. Ballermann studies Glomerular Endothelial Cell biology. She was the first to ever propagate glomerular endothelial cells in tissue culture and has written a number of key articles in the area of glomerular capillary development and differentiation. Her recent work shows that the glomerular capillary lumen is carved out in the embryo by a process that involves removal of superfluous endothelial cells through programmed cell death. She also has discovered a new signalling pathway in endothelial cells down the non-integrin laminin/prion protein receptor. Dr. Ballermann is keenly interested in disease processes that affect glomerular capillary endothelial cell function, for instance pre-eclampsia and the haemolytic uremic syndrome, as well as the processes that would lead to capillary repair after episodes of glomerulonephritis. So far, some 25 fellows have completed their research training with Dr. Ballermann, and many of them have been able to establish their own independent laboratories in the USA, in Canada and across the world.


Selected Publications

Tavasoli, M., Li, L., Al-Momany, A., Zhu, L-F, Adam, B.A., Wang, Z., Ballermann, B.J. (2016) The chloride intracellular channel 5A stimulates podocyte Rac1, protecting against hypertension-induced glomerular injury. Kidney International 89: 833-847. Article

Al-Momany, A., Li, L., Alexander, T., Ballermann, B.J. (2014) Clustered PI (4,5)P2 accumulation of ezrin phosphorylation in response to CLIC5A.  Journal of Cell Science 127: 5164-5178. Article

Wegner, B., Al-Momany, A., Kulak, S.C., Kozlowski, K., Obeidat, M., Jahroudi, N., Paes, J., Berryman, M., Ballermann, B.J. (2010) CLIC5A, a component of the ezrin-podocalyxin complex in glomeruli, is a determinant of podocyte integrity. American Journal of Renal Physiology 298: F1492-F1503. Article