History of ISRNM


(last updated 2018-10-30)


The Beginning:

Since the mid-1960s it had become apparent that scientific research concerning abnormal metabolism of protein, lipid, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals in renal disease had progressed rapidly. In addition, the nutritional management of patients with renal disease had changed as a result of these new developments.


Several investigators, Joel D. Kopple MD, Shaul G. Massry MD and Professor August Heidland MD, concluded that an international congress should be held to bring together investigators interested in the science of renal nutrition. This decision proved to be beneficial and also timely and an organizing committee was formed to plan the 1st International Congress on Nutrition in Renal Disease, subsequently held at the High School of Music in Wuerzburg, Germany from May 23-25, 1977. Members of the organizing committee included August Heidland (Germany), Joel D Kopple (USA), Shaul G Massry (USA) , Reinhold Kluthe (Germany), Ebenhard Ritz (Germany) and Benjamin Burton (USA). The Congress was well attended by physicians and scientists from many countries. A total of 96 scientific papers (30 invited, 29 free communications, 37 posters) were presented contributing to a significant amount of new information and the re-evaluation of methodologies for research (1).


The Social Program included a Symphonic Concert by the Orchestra of the High School of Music, Wuerzburg in the Imperial Hall of the Prince-Bishops’ Residence and the reception given by the Bavarian Local Government’s Secretary of State, Dr W. Vorndran. The intellectual ferment and enthusiastic response that arose from this meeting resulted in the organization of the 2nd International Congress, held in Bologna, Italy, from June 13-15, 1979.

Professor Vittorio Bonomini chaired the scientific and local organizing committee of the Second International Congress on Nutrition in Renal Disease in Bologna, Italy. This Congress was once again well attended by physicians, biochemists, physiologists and also several dietitians from Europe and the USA. This Congress proved a success with a total of 123 presentations varying from the biochemistry and metabolism of proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals to methods of evaluating nutritional status and management of biochemical, metabolic and nutritional disorders in renal disease and renal failure. Based on the success and enthusiasm generated by these two congresses, the organizing committee then decided to continue and plan regular meetings. Its scientific focus was expanded to include the broad field of metabolism in renal disease and renal failure (2).


The 3rd International Congress on Nutrition and Metabolism in Renal Disease was held at the medical Faculty University of Marseille, France from 1-4 September, 1982. Professors Michel Olmer, Carmello Giordano and Mackenzie Walser joined Drs. Kopple and Massry to  organize this congress. The national organizing committee chaired by Michel Olmer, planned an excellent scientific Congress.

The number of presentations increased to a total of 192 (22 invited, 173 free communications and posters) and included studies about the mechanisms of nutritional and metabolic disorders. The Congress was also attended by 22 dietitians from several countries. (3)

The official evening events program included the welcome reception by the Mayor of Marseille, Mr G Deferre at the Palais du Pharao, a concert given by the Regional Orchestra of the Auvergne at the Abbaye Saint-Victor, Dinner at the famous fishing village of Cassis, and  the Banquet at Chateau de la Pioline, Aix-Les Milles.


The 4th International Congress was held at the College of William and Mary in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, USA from 10-13 October in1985. The international committee chaired by Joel D. Kopple and the local organizing committee, chaired by James F. Winchester, developed a  scientific and the social program that was outstanding for all delegates, including dietitians.


It was noted that “the field of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism was one of the most exciting and rapidly growing fields in all of nephrology. Among the most promising advances were the number of nutrients that may each affect renal glomerular physiology and biochemistry, in health and in disease. Treatment strategies that involved the modification of dietary nutrient intake were being assessed for their effects on renal biochemistry, hemodynamics and pathophysiology and on the course of progression of renal disease. There was also evidence that a number of nutrients and nutritional disorders influenced the risk of hypertension and the ability to treat hypertension successfully. The Introduction of the Proceedings of this Congress include the following statement: “The purpose of these meetings in future is to evaluate, in renal disease and in renal failure, the biochemistry and metabolism of proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and minerals, the nutritional assessment of patients, the causes of nutritional abnormalities and the treatment of nutritional disorders, including the use of diet to prevent or retard progression of renal failure “ (4).


A barbeque was held at the historical Berkeley Plantation (town of “A Hundred (families) and Plantations”, that dated back to 1619 and was the place of the 1st Thanksgiving Day Celebration). An afternoon in Colonial Williamsburg and the Gala Dinner at the Trellis Restaurant were included in the social program for delegates and guests.