University of Pittsburgh


Organ System Pathophysiology

Body Fluid Homeostasis Renal Course

September 25, 2017-October 13, 2017
17 half days

Course Director
James Johnston, MD
Department of Medicine

Course Description

The Renal Course is second in a sequence of three courses (CV, Renal, Pulmonary) that focus on Body Fluid Homeostasis.

The goals of the course are:

  1. to understand the relationship between structure and function in the renal organ system.
  2. to learn the embryologic basis of structure-based malfunctions in the kidney.
  3. to learn primary cellular processes that mediate the actions of pharmaceutical agents that are active in the renal system and how kidneys participate in establishing drug levels in circulation.
  4. to understand the etiology and treatment of common diseases of the renal system.
  5. to gain a good understanding of salt and water balance and the critical importance of this function to homeostasis.

The 44 faculty are from 6 departments: Cell Biology and Physiology; Medicine (Renal-Electrolyte Division); Pathology; Pharmacology; Radiology; and Urology.

Educational Methods


Lectures Small-group workshops        
Pathology laboratories Laboratory sessions        



Evaluation for this course is based on a single multiple-choice examination (80%) and on attendance, and participation in PBL sessions and workshops (20%).

Grading: The weighting of the course grade within a block grade is based on the length of the course. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Course Director James Johnston, MD, is the recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award; the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award; multiple Excellence in Education Awards for Course Director, Lecturer, Mentor, and Small Group Facilitator; the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education, and several Preclinical Golden Apple Awards. Georgia Duker, PhD; Cynthia Lance–Jones, PhD; Beth Piraino, MD; Steven Tofovic, MD, PhD; and Peter Veldkamp, MD, are recipients of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award. In addition, Dr. Johnston is the director and Drs. Duker, Lance-Jones, Piraino, Tofovic, and Veldkamp are members of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators.