David J. Salant, MB BCh

Professor, Medicine

David Salant
650 Albany St Evans Biomed Research Ctr


Salant is Professor of Medicine and Vice-Chair for Research. He received his medical degree from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and completed his clinical training at Johannesburg General Hospital. He received his research training at Boston University with Dr. William G. Couser and joined BU’s nephrology faculty in 1979. Dr. Salant is an internationally renowned physician-scientist and an acclaimed educator. His research primarily explores the immune basis for glomerular diseases and the mechanisms of podocyte injury. He was among the first to identify podocytes as the primary target of injury in antibody-mediated glomerular diseases. In a landmark New England Journal of Medicine paper in 2009, Drs. Salant, Beck and colleagues described their discovery of the target antigen in membranous nephropathy and showed that a high proportion of MN patients have circulating autoantibodies to the phospholipase A2 receptor on human podocytes. Dr. Salant is a past chairman of the ABIM Sub-specialty Board of Examiners in Nephrology, and recipient of several national and international awards for his scientific contributions, including election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, the John P. Peters Award from the American Society of Nephrology, the Jean Hamburger Award from the International Society of Nephrology, the Donald W. Seldin Award from the National Kidney Foundation, the Marilyn Farquhar Award at the 11th Annual Podocyte Conference and the Edward N. Gibbs Award and Lectureship from the New York Academy Sciences.

Research Expertise

Experimental models of immunological glomerular diseases and autoimmunity resembling those seen in man are used to obtain a fundamental understanding of the immunopathogenetic mechanisms of injury.

Antibody-mediated podocyte injury:
The primary focus of the Salant laboratory is on the immune basis of glomerular diseases with particular regard to the humoral mechanisms of glomerular cell injury. Current work will elucidate the mechanisms by which antibodies alter the function and morphology of glomerular visceral epithelial cells (podocytes).
1. We have identified the target antigen in human membranous nephropathy as the phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) and shown that about 75% of patients have circulating ant-PLA2R autoantibodies. Current work is directed at defining the mechanisms of podocyte injury induced by anti-PLA2R using a combination of in vitro, in vivo and human genetic techniques. Additional studies will explore the role of anti-PLA2R in the development of recurrent membranous nephropathy post renal transplantation.
2. Ongoing interests include the role of podocyte-specific antibodies, and the effects of complement-mediated injury on podocyte structure, composition of the filtration slit diaphragm and its attachment to the cytoskeleton, and on cell-matrix adhesion using animal models, cell biological and immunochemical methodologies.

Mechanisms of post-inflammatory renal fibrogenesis:
We have also developed a murine model of antibody-dependent rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis in which necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis is associated with the activation of chemokine and interstitial-type collagen genes, followed by the development of interstitial fibrosis and renal failure. Since interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy are common to all forms of chronic progressive renal diseases and are the most reliable pathological indicators of an adverse long-term prognosis in humans, this mouse model in which the onset of immune injury is rapidly followed (within 5 days) by the induction and proliferation of interstitial cells expressing high levels of mRNA for type I collagen affords a unique opportunity to study the mechanisms of post-inflammatory renal fibrogenesis

Other Positions

  • Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
  • Vice Chair, Research Implementation, Medicine, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • University of the Witwatersrand, MBBCh


  • Published on 2/20/2024

    Liu F, Ryan ST, Fahnoe KC, Morgan JG, Cheung AE, Storek MJ, Best A, Chen HA, Locatelli M, Xu S, Schmidt E, Schmidt-Jiménez LF, Bieber K, Henderson JM, Lian CG, Verschoor A, Ludwig RJ, Benigni A, Remuzzi G, Salant DJ, Kalled SL, Thurman JM, Holers VM, Violette SM, Wawersik S. C3d-Targeted factor H inhibits tissue complement in disease models and reduces glomerular injury without affecting circulating complement. Mol Ther. 2024 Apr 03; 32(4):1061-1079. PMID: 38382529.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/21/2023

    Kistler AD, Salant DJ. Complement activation and effector pathways in membranous nephropathy. Kidney Int. 2024 Mar; 105(3):473-483. PMID: 38142037.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/16/2023

    Bronstein R, Pace J, Gowthaman Y, Salant DJ, Mallipattu SK. Podocyte-Parietal Epithelial Cell Interdependence in Glomerular Development and Disease. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2023 May 01; 34(5):737-750. PMID: 36800545.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/10/2023

    Kumar S, Fan X, Rasouly HM, Sharma R, Salant DJ, Lu W. ZEB2 controls kidney stromal progenitor differentiation and inhibits abnormal myofibroblast expansion and kidney fibrosis. JCI Insight. 2023 Jan 10; 8(1). PMID: 36445780.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/3/2021

    Pace JA, Bronstein R, Guo Y, Yang Y, Estrada CC, Gujarati N, Salant DJ, Haley J, Bialkowska AB, Yang VW, He JC, Mallipattu SK. Podocyte-specific KLF4 is required to maintain parietal epithelial cell quiescence in the kidney. Sci Adv. 2021 Sep 03; 7(36):eabg6600. PMID: 34516901.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/29/2021

    Edwards A, Salant D, Benzing T. Insights into Glomerular Filtration and Albuminuria. Reply. N Engl J Med. 2021 07 29; 385(5):478. PMID: 34320302.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/15/2021

    Benzing T, Salant D. Insights into Glomerular Filtration and Albuminuria. N Engl J Med. 2021 Apr 15; 384(15):1437-1446. PMID: 33852781.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/3/2021

    Beck LH, Berasi SP, Copley JB, Gorman D, Levy DI, Lim CN, Henderson JM, Salant DJ, Lu W. PODO: Trial Design: Phase 2 Study of PF-06730512 in Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis. Kidney Int Rep. 2021 Jun; 6(6):1629-1633. PMID: 34169203.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2021

    Haddad G, Lorenzen JM, Ma H, de Haan N, Seeger H, Zaghrini C, Brandt S, Kölling M, Wegmann U, Kiss B, Pál G, Gál P, Wüthrich RP, Wuhrer M, Beck LH, Salant DJ, Lambeau G, Kistler AD. Altered glycosylation of IgG4 promotes lectin complement pathway activation in anti-PLA2R1-associated membranous nephropathy. J Clin Invest. 2021 03 01; 131(5). PMID: 33351779.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/12/2020

    Braden GL, Chapman A, Ellison DH, Gadegbeku CA, Gurley SB, Igarashi P, Kelepouris E, Moxey-Mims MM, Okusa MD, Plumb TJ, Quaggin SE, Salant DJ, Segal MS, Shankland SJ, Somlo S. Advancing Nephrology: Division Leaders Advise ASN. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2021 02 08; 16(2):319-327. PMID: 32792352.

    Read at: PubMed

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