Richard Zager, M.D.

Richard Zager M.D.
faculty member

Richard Zager, M.D.

Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.667.5255
Mail Stop: D2-190

Dr. Richard “Dick” Zager is an expert in kidney injury. Kidney damage is a serious side effect of certain therapies, including some cancer chemotherapies. Dr. Zager identifies the mechanisms by which kidney cells protect themselves from injury and what happens to kidney cells as a result of such damage. He translates his laboratory findings into new approaches to help patients. For example, he developed a drug combination designed to prevent acute kidney injury in patients at high risk. He also investigates potential strategies to prevent chronic kidney disease in people who have experienced kidney injury.

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Professor, Division of Gerontology
University of Washington School of Medicine


B.S., Northwestern University, 1965

M.D., Northwestern Medical School, 1969

Residency, UCLA Medical Center, 1973-1974

Senior Resident, University of Washington, 1973-1974

Clinical Renal Fellow, Boston University Medical Center, 1975-1976

Research Fellow (Nephrology/Pathology), Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, 1976-1977

Research Interests

Mechanisms by which injured cells become resistant to superimposed ischemic or toxic attack. In particular, alterations in plasma membrane lipid homeostasis, stress protein induction, including proteins that are not normally produced in kidney, are addressed. Albumin, hemopexin, haptoglobin and alpha one antitrypsin are some prominent examples.

Mechanisms by which the post injured kidney develops hyper-responsive to Toll like receptor ligands are studied. In particular, epigenetic remodeling is addressed.

Exploration of novel therapeutic strategies to mitigate progressive renal injury to chronic renal disease are explored. A notable example is testing the role of novel recombinant heme oxygenase proteins as prophylactic agents to prevent acute renal failure.

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Dr. Zager in the News

Protective p21 propagation requires glucocorticoids

Science Spotlight - April 15, 2019

A master regulator to avoid ischemia tissue injury

Science Spotlight - May 21, 2018

An iron 'shield' for acute kidney injury

Science Spotlight - July 18, 2016

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with faculty.

Email or call 206.667.2210