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Mark Donowitz MD

Mark Donowitz MD

LeBoff Professor of Medicine; Director, Hopkins Center for Epithelial Disorders; Director, Hopkins NIH Conte Digestive Diseases Basic & Translational Research Core Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Past President, American Gastroenterological Association

Mark Donowitz, MD, has a distinguished career of scientific discovery, mentorship of young researchers and advocacy for the gastroenterology specialty. Dr. Donowitz is LeBoff Professor of Medicine and Physiology , Director of the Hopkins Center for Epithelial Disorders at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine , and is Founding Director of the NIH/NIDDK Hopkins Conte Digestive Diseases Center for Basic and Translational Research. He was President of the American Gastroenterological Association 2006-2007. He also served as President of the Gastroenterology-Research Group. He has received the Distinguished Achievement Award  and as well as the Davenport Memorial Prize from the American Physiology Society, and the Distinguished Ahievement in Basic Science from the American Gastroenterological Association, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His scientific focus  has been to understand regulation of intestinal Na absorption in normal digestive physiology and abnormalities that contribute to diarrheal diseases. His group was the first to recognize the mammalian Na/H exchanger gene family, to clone the epithelial isoforms, and to trace the evolutionary development of the gene family. He has examined structure/function aspects of the exchangers and identified the large, multiprotein complexes in which the epithelial NHEs function. In addition, his group identified a gene family of PDZ containing brush border proteins called the NHERF family which are scaffolding proteins which interact with NHE3 and are involved in forming the multiprotein complexes, are critical for its regulation, and take part in its association with the cytoskeleton.  He is a leader in developing the human enteroid monolayer model to understand human digestive physiology and to understand the pathophysiology of diarrheal diseases, with an emphasis on host-pathogen interactions.


Dr. Donowitz helped advise on assay development used to develop Tenapanor, serves on the Ardylex Board of Scientific Advisors, for which he has received stock options, and took part in research demonstrating mechanism by which Tenapanor inhibits intestinal phosphate absorption for which a role in treatment of hyperphosphatemia in chronic renal disease is under consideration.

Dr. Donowitz is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Kibow, Inc., for which he receives support.