History of Nephrology in Iran

The modern nephrology began in Iran at the early 1960s and after the return of a number of nephrology specialists from France, England, and the United States. Dr. Abdol- Hossein Samiee was the first American trained nephrologist who provided a great deal of care for kidney and dialysis patients in the country. In 1961, Dr. Farhad Motamed and Dr. Abdol-Mohammad Rafat founded an association with 10 members, which was in fact the first Iranian nephrology society. The group held monthly meetings, but was not much active due to the small number of members until the mid-1970s. Between 1971 and 1978, other physicians such as Dr. Bijan Nick-Akhtar, Dr. Mehdi Khan-Mohammadi, Dr. Ebrahim Ipakchi, Dr. Fereydon Alavi, Dr. Keivan, Dr. Bahman Shahin, Dr. Behrooz Broumand, Dr. Ahad Ghods, and Dr. Khosrow Rahbar, were gradually added to the community of Iranian nephrologists, the total number of which reached to 26. As a result, the Iranian Society of Nephrology became more active and held monthly nephrology journal clubs and scientific meetings, with a higher scientific capacity. From the activities of the Society in those days we can mention to the Symposium of Renal Diseases held in February 1977.

Until the 1975, Dr. Nour-Aldin Hadavi was the president of the Society. In 1976, Dr. Behrooz Broumand, the first American board certified nephrologist, was elected as the president and Dr. Mansour Hashemirad, Dr. Iraj Amir-Lak, and Dr. Mehdi Ghavamian as members of the board. In October 1978, the society held an international congress of hypertension with more than 500 participants and nephrologists such as Dr. Mansour Hashemirad, Prof. Behrooz Broumand and Prof. Ahad Ghods (as the second American board certified nephrologist in Iran), as well as a number of cardiologists and 3 international guest speakers. It is worth mentioning, that Prof. Ahad Ghods was one of the inventors of chronic peritoneal dialysis in 1978.1

The society continued its' activity till 1980, and at that time, with the start of the Iran- Iraq war, the activity of the Iranian Society of Nephrology was stopped, similar to that of many other scientific societies of the country.

In 1992, the Iranian Society of Nephrology (IrSN) was re-established with definite programs aimed at promoting the educational, research, and therapeutic standards of nephrology in Iran, in accordance with international standards, and a new Bylaws was written by the members of the board including Dr. Ali Nobakht-Haghighi, Dr. Mansour Hashemirad, Dr. Khosrow Rahbar, and Dr. Hossein Nejadgashti. The founders of the new society, together with Dr. Seyed-Mehdi Ghavamian, Dr. Fereydoon Prooshaninia, and Dr. Khosrow Rostaiyan, formed the first board of directors of the society and elected Dr. Ahad Ghods as the president. He remained in this position for 3 consecutive 2-years periods, and was the chairman of the 1st to 6th International Congresses of Nephrology, Dialysis, and Transplantation in Iran, which were held from 1991 to 2000 almost every two years. In 2000, Dr. Behrooz Broumand was elected as the president of the society and continued to work in this position till 2006. He hosted the 7th to 10th International Congresses of Nephrology, Dialysis, and Transplantation in Iran, almost every 18 months, as well as a joint conference between IrSN and the European Renal Association- European Dialysis and Transplantation Association (ERA-EDTA) on May 2001. The 10th Congress of Nephrology was held in Urmia and the 11th Congress was held in November 2007 chaired of Dr. Ezatollah Abdi. Dr. Ali Nobakht-Haghighi was the secretary general and treasurer of the society from 1992 to 2005. In December 2009, the society was officially registered in the Company Registration Office and continued its' activities in the current office. During this period, Dr. Ezatollah Abdi and Dr. Mohammadreza Ganji were each the president of the society for two consecutive 3 years periods and from November 2018 Dr. Mohsen Nafar, previously the secretary general of the society, was selected as the president, in collaboration with Dr. Shahrzad Ossareh as the secretary general. From 2007 to 2018 Dr. Mohsen Nafar, Dr. Shokoufeh Savaj, and Dr. Nakisa Hooman were the treasurers of the society. During the years of 2007 to 2018 the national congresses of the society were held in Tehran and the international congresses in Kish (2009), Yazd (2011), Isfahan (2013), Mashhad (2015), and Shiraz (2017), the latter simultaneously with the 3rd International Congress of Transplantation.

At present, the Iranian Society of Nephrology has about 390 members (adult and pediatric nephrologists), 35 associate members (internists interested in nephrology) and an honorary member. Every two years, the society holds national nephrology congresses in Tehran and the international congresses in different cities of Iran, with the presence of prominent Iranian and international speakers and provides and the news and updates in nephrology science to the Iranian and international nephrologists.

The monthly scientific seminars of the IrSN are held at the conference center of the society, university hospitals and other conference centers in Tehran and other cities. Some of these conferences are organized with the presence and cooperation of specialists from other disciplines, including endocrinologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, immunologists, and urologists. IrSN also supports the holding and attendance of nephrologists at nephrology conferences in other cities of Iran, as well as, the participation of members at various congresses of nephrology and transplantation abroad.

Members of the IrSN have been group members of the ISN since 2001, and Iran has one of the largest group membership numbers in ISN. The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) has supported the presence of 3 international speakers at a number of the IrSN international congresses through endorsement and CME credits. The international congresses of IrSN, and some of the national and local seminars, which have played an educational role in neighboring countries, have received ISN endorsement. Also an ISN- CME conference has been held in Tehran and Isfahan at 2014 with collaboration of international and Iranian speakers. Each year members of the IrSN actively hold the World  Kidney Day (WKD) in various cities of Iran in collaboration with ISN.

Prof. Ahad Ghods, has been the president of the Middle East Society of Transplantation (MESOT) and Prof. Behrooz Broumand and Dr. Ezatollah Abdi, the board members and Dr. Ali Nobakht Haghighi the secretary of this society. Dr. Hassan Argani is the MESOT secretary from 2016 and is a member of the scientific committee and ambassador of the European Society of Transplantation (ESOT).

Prof. Behrooz Broumand has received the award for Pioneer in Nephrology in Middle Eastfrom ISN in 2015. From 2011 to 2017 Prof. Mohammadreza Ganji has been the member of the ISN Middle East regional board. Prof. Shahrzad Ossareh, has been elected as a councilor of ISN representing Middle east from 2017 and is the chair of the Middle East Board of ISN, at present.

1-Popovich RPMoncrief JWNolph KDGhods AJTwardowski ZJPyle WK. Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Ann Intern Med. 1978 Apr;88(4):449-56.


Boards of IrSN at Present:

Dr. S Ossareh (President)

Dr. M Nafar (Past President)

Dr. M Khosravi (Secretary General)

Dr. A Pezeshgi (Treasurer)

Other Members:

Dr. S Savaj , Dr. F Haghverdi , Dr. F Rashidfarokhi, Dr. N Hooman


Alternate Member: Dr. B Eynollahi

Auditor: Dr. S Tabiban