Dr. Massimo Attanasio received his M.D. degree from the II University of Napoli, Italy cum laude in 1990, with a bioengineering thesis on mutated transcriptional terminators in E. coli. After completing a residency in Pediatrics at the University of Parma, in 1994 he served as an Attendant in Pediatrics and Neonatology in the Hospital S. Maria Nuova in Reggio Emilia, Italy. In 2002 he joined as a postdoctoral fellow the laboratory of Dr. Friedhelm Hildebrandt at University of Michigan, where he studied the genetics of inheritable kidney diseases. During this period he participated to the identification of a gene that when mutated cause congenital nephrotic syndrome and of several genes that cause nephronophthisis, a rare autosomal recessive disease that inexorably leads to renal insufficiency. In 2008 Dr. Attanasio joined the faculty of the University of Texas - Southwestern Medical Center as an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine/Nephrology and Human Genetics at the McDermott Center for Growth and Development. In his laboratory, Dr. Attanasio is pursuing the discovery of new genes that cause inheritable kidney diseases and uses mouse models to uncover the molecular mechanisms that lead to progressive kidney cystic disease and fibrosis and glomerular microangiopathies. In 2010 Dr. Attanasio received the Norman Siegel Research Scholar Award from the American Society of Nephrology.


Medical School
Unlisted - International Colle (1990), Medicine

Research Interest

  • Cell signaling
  • Cystic kidney diseases and fibrosis
  • Genetics of inherited kidney diseases
  • Glomerulonephritis


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Loss of Glis2/NPHP7 causes kidney epithelial cell senescence and suppresses cyst growth in the Kif3a mouse model of cystic kidney disease.
Lu D, Rauhauser A, Li B, Ren C, McEnery K, Zhu J, Chaki M, Vadnagara K, Elhadi S, Jetten AM, Igarashi P, Attanasio M Kidney Int. 2016 Jun 89 6 1307-23
Loss of diacylglycerol kinase epsilon in mice causes endothelial distress and impairs glomerular Cox-2 and PGE2 production.
Zhu J, Chaki M, Lu D, Ren C, Wang SS, Rauhauser AA, Li B, Zimmerman S, Jun B, Du Y, Vadnagara K, Wang H, Elhadi S, Quigg RJ, Topham MK, Mohan C, Ozaltin F, Zhou XJ, Marciano DK, Bazan NG, Attanasio M Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol. 2016 Feb ajprenal.00431.2015

Honors & Awards

  • Satellite Healthcare Norman S. Coplon Extramural Research
  • American Society of Nephrology Norman Siegel Research Scholar Award