2021 Distinguished Faculty Award Priya Kishnani, MD, HS'91-'95


Priya Kishnani, MD, HS'91-'95, is the Chen Family Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, chief of the Division of Medical Genetics, a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, core faculty member of the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiatives, and member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Throughout her career, Kishnani has conducted groundbreaking basic and clinical research in the fields of glycogen storage disease genetics and therapeutics. She has demonstrated sustained achievements and leadership in research at Duke University School of Medicine in her role as the international principal investigator and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) liaison in pivotal clinical trials, where she was critical in study design, development of endpoints, and identification of risk factors. Kishnani’s landmark discoveries led to the advent of enzyme replacement therapy in Pompe disease. She was able to take the lessons learned from the bench and translate them to the bedside. As the lead principal investigator, she designed and conducted multicenter and multinational clinical trials of Myozyme, which resulted in FDA and European Medicines Agency's approval of the first-ever therapy for Pompe disease.

Kishnani developed the immune tolerance induction protocol for the prevention of the development of antibody responses and management of entrenched antibody response to therapeutic agents, and she is a pioneer in the development of novel approaches to improve cognitive function in Down syndrome. She established Duke as a Center of Excellence in rare diseases research and patient care. Duke is internationally recognized in many rare diseases, in particular as a leader in the field of glycogen storage diseases and lysosomal storage diseases.

Kishnani has lectured throughout the world, served on executive committees of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the North Carolina Genetics Advisory Committee, the National Glycogen Storage Disease Association, and the Duke Department of Pediatrics, and received awards for research, mentorship, teaching, and clinical expertise.

Education: University of Bombay; Jai Hind College

Training: Duke University School of Medicine

Current Title: Chen Family Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University School of Medicine