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Non-profit organization committed to improvement and dissemination of knowledge regarding the pathology and pathophysiology of renal disease

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Hispanic Heritage Month

Dear RPS members,

In 2023, the RPS would like to focus on embracing diversity, equity and inclusion; and on broadening our international network.  One way to achieve this goal is to celebrate a semi-monthly calendar of observances and appreciations with 10-question interviews highlighting our diverse pool of members.   This month we feature long time RPS member Dr. Carmen Avila Casado for Hispanic Heritage month!

Dr. Avila Casado is a native of Guadalajara, Mexico.  She has been member of RPS Program Committee, the membership Committee, the international Committee and was previously RPS Secretary for 6 years.  She is currently a Professor at the University of Toronto and, the Director of Education at LMP-UHN Toronto General Hospital and the Director of the Renal Pathology Program and Medical Director of the EM lab.   She is currently the Chair of the ISN Renal Pathology Working Group.  Please find her interview below!

1. What is your name, where were you born, where do you work?

Carmen Avila-Casado, MD, PhD.  I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and currently work at the Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada.

2. What is your number one topic of interest in nephropathology?
Podocytopathies. I did my PhD focus on mechanisms of podocyte injury.
3. What do you like most about your job?

I am very fortunate that I enjoy all academic areas of my job, clinical reviewing renal biopsies, teaching national and international trainees and research.

4. What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

I am always multitasking. The most challenging is to work on weekends.

5. What did you want to become when you were a child?

I wanted to study Archeology. I also studied dance for many years and at one point wanted to be a dancer.

6. What would be your wish for the future - in general or in relation to your work?

My wish for the future is to keep doing what I am passioned about like working on education.

7. Any special interests apart from Nephropathology? 

I love cooking. I am a foody and love to cook special dishes. I like Flamenco.

8. How do you think Renal Pathology will look like in 10 years’ time? 

It will be more technology involved, artificial intelligence.

9. Who would you consider to be your mentor in renal pathology or pathology in general?

Helmut Rennke is my mentor.

10. What is your favorite non-work-related activity or way to spend your time?

Cooking creating new recipes, and dancing flamenco.

Bonus Question:  What have you found most challenging about developing your career as a woman in medicine?

I am fortunate to work in a multicultural city where I feel welcome. As Hispanic, I feel very proud of my Mexican and Spanish roots. Yes, I have experienced racism but I feel confident that I could get over it. I am contributing with a mentorship program from my university where I am in contact with some Hispanic/Latino students.

My suggestion to medical trainees and junior faculty is to look for mentor and register in this kind of programs that may guide them especially if they are facing some hard environment. In U of T, a study has shown that unfortunately the Hispanic/Latino population has experienced some of these problems but that they keep silent and try to be resilient. I think they need to speak up.

About RPS

The RPS promotes excellence in diagnosis, fosters basic, clinical and translational research, encourages training and education in renal disease, sponsors US based and international conferences and symposia, and brings news and updates pertaining to renal pathology to its members around the world.

Mailing address:

1440 W. Taylor St. # 734, Chicago, IL USA, Fax: (312) 281-0029


Office of the Secretary

Virginie Royal, MD

Office of the Treasurer

Kuang-Yu Jen, MD, PhD

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